A man signing some paperworkOptivo brings together the best of Viridian Housing and AmicusHorizon.

We’re building a new business which will be known for:
  • Keeping customers at the heart of everything we do
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Building communities
  • Social impact as well as bricks and mortar
  • Meeting housing need at all levels
  • Influencing housing policy
  • A great employee offer
  • Innovation and efficiency.
As a new organisation we’ll respond positively to the challenges of the housing crisis, building more new homes than we could as separate organisations.

On 16th May we briefed investors about the partnership between Viridian Housing and AmicusHorizon, and you can find the presentation here.

Through efficiency we’ll create more financial capacity to fulfil our social purpose and make a difference to our customers. From 2021 we aim to build 1,500 high quality new homes each year. This will make us one of the largest developers in the housing association sector.


It’s a time of unprecedented change for housing associations and their residents, and we’re responding positively to this challenge.

We’re driving efficiency as measured through improvements to our operating margin and reducing unit costs. We’re committed to delivering value for money across all parts of our business, and have identified a number of themes:  
  • Embedding a culture of cost awareness, efficiency and value
  • Driving out waste from our processes
  • Continuing to make the most of our assets 
  • Using our scale to drive value from the services we buy from others
  • Measuring our costs and benchmarking them using independent evaluation.
Viridian and AmicusHorizon have a good track record of keeping rent arrears low and rent loss through empty homes to a minimum. We’ll build on this success as Optivo. 

Customer expectations are changing, and we need to respond with  greater flexibility, speed, and efficiency. We’ll do this  through innovation offering more and better services online, and by using technology to automate processes. We’ll work with our residents and staff to offer exceptional services, efficiently.

Moody's Credit Rating

Moody’s Credit Rating Update - September 2017

On 26 September 2017 Moody’s downgraded the 40 rated UK housing associations by one notch, with the outlook changed from negative to stable in each case. Optivo’s credit rating changed to A2 from A1.

This action followed the recent downgrade of the UK’s sovereign rating from Aa1 with negative outlook to Aa2 with stable outlook. The rationale for the downgrade is the negative impact of the decision to leave the EU Single Market and customs union on the country’s economic growth prospects. This effect impacts in turn on the UK’s credit profile and exacerbates pressure on fiscal consolidation.

The follow-on downgrade of housing association credit ratings reflects the close economic, financial and institutional linkages between the sovereign and sub-sovereign sectors.

Moody's Credit Update - June 2017

Moody’s assigned an A1 rating to Optivo following the merger of AmicusHorizon and Viridian Housing, withdrawing the A2 rating of AmicusHorizon Limited.

Optivo is now the parent company for AmicusHorizon Finance PLC, the issuing vehicle for the 2012 bond issuance, now also rated A1.

In March 2017 Moody’s placed the AmicusHorizon rating under review for upgrade ahead of the anticipated merger with Viridian Housing.

On issuing Optivo’s A1 rating Moody’s stated: 

Optivo’s rating is supported by debt metrics and interest coverage ratios aligned with A1 peers. Optivo benefits from Viridian’s historically low level of indebtedness, with the new entity expected to register 42% debt to assets at cost and 3.7x debt to revenue in FYE2018.

Optivo also benefits from a historic turnaround in AmicusHorizon’s profitability, with operating margins strengthening from 21% in FY2013 to 29% in FY2016, driving a material improvement in Social Housing Letting Interest Coverage (SHLIC) from 0.9x to 1.4x in the same period."

Moody’s expect these improvements to continue, demonstrated by forecasts of 27-29% operating margin, and SHLIC of 1.6x over the next two years.

Cash Flow Volatility Interest Cover (CVIC) is also expected to remain in-line with A1 peers, forecast at 1.5x in FY2018, rising to over 2.0x in the following year.

Moody’s also stated:

The rating action also takes into account the merger’s credit challenges, which include an increase in development plans in the medium term.

The increase in net capex is forecast to weaken the merged entity’s liquidity coverage metric to 1x as of FY2019. Mitigating this is the merged entity’s large proportion of unencumbered assets, equivalent to an estimated £1.1 billion in borrowing capacity.

This leaves ample borrowing headroom, even after accounting for the £275 million of additional debt that management plans to take on between FY2018 and FY2021. Moreover, Optivo’s treasury policies are clear and robust, which will likely ensure adequate liquidity levels are maintained

Moody’s summarise Optivo’s credit strengths as:

  • Strong proportion of low-risk social housing letting with improved profitability
  • Manageable debt levels, appropriate interest coverage ratios
  • Strong regulatory framework
and credit challenges as:
  • Larger development programme will increase exposure to sales risk and challenge the liquidity metric
  • Implementation and strategic risks surrounding merger
  • Government policy changes make operating environment more challenging for housing associations.
​Find out more about Moody’s Credit Opinion here.

Secured Bonds

AmicusHorizon launched its debut £150 million bond issue into the capital markets in March 2012 with a coupon of 5.25%.

AmicusHorizon issued £100 million of bond initially, at a spread of 215bps over the 4.5% 2042 gilt, with an all in yield of 5.362%. The remaining £50 million of bonds were sold in July 2013 for settlement in September 2013, at a spread of 120 bps with an all in yield of 4.681%. 

Security for the bond issue was re-valued in May 2017, with the valuation showing a surplus of 47% over the required asset cover.

View our bond security valuations here: 

Financial Performance

Our year end is 31 March. For the financial year 2016/17 we reported financial results separately for AmicusHorizon and Viridian, as on that date Optivo had not yet formed.

The first set of statutory accounts for Optivo will be for the year ending 31 March 2018. In the meantime we have prepared a 2016/17 proforma and non-statutory set of financial statements for Optivo as the combined financial statements of AmicusHorizon Ltd and Viridian Housing.


Read the latest AmicusHorizon Financial Statements and Value for Money Annual Reports.
You can also view the AmicusHorizon Trading Update for November 2016.

Viridian Housing

Read the latest Viridian Housing Financial Statements and Value For Money Report.


Read our 2016/17 unaudited non-statutory Financial Statements for Optivo.
You can also view the Optivo Trading Update for November 2017.

AmicusHorizon Finance plc

Read the financial statements for AmicusHorizon Finance plc for the year ended 31 March 2017 here.