Enel successfully places a triple-tranche 3.25 billion euro sustainability-linked bond in the eurobond market, the largest sustainability-linked transaction ever priced, also launching a tender offer on conventional bonds at the same time

Published on Friday, 11 June 2021

The bond is linked to the achievement of Enel’s sustainable objective related to the reduction of Direct Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Scope 1), contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action) and in line with the Group’s Sustainability-Linked Financing Framework (the “Framework”).

The transaction follows the world’s first Sustainability-Linked bonds priced by EFI in US dollars and euros in 2019 and the first Sustainability-Linked bond issued on the sterling market in 2020. The instrument EFI launched today is also the largest Sustainability-Linked transaction ever priced in the fixed-income capital markets.

The bond, which is guaranteed by Enel, was oversubscribed 3.5 times, with total orders of approximately 11.3 billion euros and the significant participation of Socially Responsible Investors (SRI), allowing the Enel Group to continue to diversify its investor base.

At the same time, as indicated below, EFI launched a non-binding voluntary tender offer (the “Tender Offer”) for the repurchase of four outstanding series of conventional bonds for a target maximum aggregate amount of 1 billion euros, accelerating the achievement of the Group’s targets of sustainable finance sources on Group’s total gross debt.

“The launch of the largest Sustainability-Linked transaction ever priced marks a new, major milestone since Enel’s ground-breaking bond issues kick-started the global Sustainability-Linked bond market back in 2019, a market that continues to grow at an exponential rate, intercepting a variety of industrial sectors and geographies, and which is now a consolidated instrument of sustainable finance, ever more mainstream in the capital markets. With the transactions we are announcing today, through which we are repurchasing existing conventional bonds from the market while, at the same time, issuing new "Sustainability-Linked" ones, we are reflecting in finance our commitment to accelerate the energy transition.”

– Enel CFO Alberto De Paoli

The success of the new issue is a clear acknowledgement of the Group's sustainability strategy and of its ability to generate value by contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. The value of sustainability has been reflected once again in the demand and in the pricing mechanics of the issue.

The transaction meets the Group’s ordinary financing needs and is aligned with the Framework, updated in January 2021, which fully integrates sustainability into the Group’s global funding program. The Framework is aligned with the International Capital Market Association’s (ICMA) “Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles” and the Loan Market Association’s (LMA) “Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles”, as verified by the Second-Party Provider Vigeo Eiris.

In line with the Framework, the three tranches of the bond are linked to the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) of Direct Greenhouse Gas Emissions Amount (Scope 1) at Group level, measured in grams of CO2eq per kWh, contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13.

In this respect, in October 2020, Enel announced a revision of its Group’s Scope 1 Direct Greenhouse Gas Emissions Amount for 2030, with a reduction by 80% compared with the 2017 baseline, reaching a carbon intensity lower than 82gCO2eq/kWh. The target is certified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels.

The expected path to the 2030 target also includes a target of Direct Greenhouse Gas Emissions Amount (Scope 1), measured in grams of CO2eq per kWh, equal to or lower than 148gCO2eq/kWh by 2023. The ultimate goal is to reach the full decarbonization of Enel’s energy mix by 2050.

Accordingly, the issue is structured in the following three tranches:

  • 1,000 million euros at a fixed rate of 0.000%, with settlement date set on June 17th, 2021, maturing June 17th, 2027:

o    the issue price was set at 98.909% and the effective yield at maturity is equal to 0.183%;

o    the interest rate will remain unchanged to maturity, subject to achievement of a Sustainability Performance Target (“SPT”) equal to or lower than 148gCO2eq/kWh as of December 31st, 2023;

o    if the SPT is not achieved, a step-up mechanism will be applied, increasing the rate by 25 bps as of the first interest period subsequent to the publication of the report issued by a third-party expert in respect of the Direct Greenhouse Gas Emissions Amount and the methodology for measuring CO2eq emissions applied by the Group;

  • 1,250 million euros at a fixed rate of 0.500%, with settlement date set on June 17th, 2021, maturing June 17th, 2030:

o    the issue price was set at 99.728% and the effective yield at maturity is equal to 0.531%;

o    the interest rate will remain unchanged to maturity, subject to achievement of a SPT equal to or lower than 148gCO2eq/kWh as of December 31st, 2023;

o    if the SPT is not achieved, a step-up mechanism will be applied, increasing the rate by 25 bps as of the first interest period subsequent to the publication of the report issued by a third-party expert in respect of the Direct Greenhouse Gas Emissions Amount and the methodology for measuring CO2eq emissions applied by the Group;

  • 1,000 million euros at a fixed rate of 0.875%, with settlement date set on June 17th, 2021, maturing June 17th, 2036:

o    the issue price was set at 98.061% and the effective yield at maturity is equal to 1.015%;

o    the interest rate will remain unchanged to maturity, subject to achievement of a SPT equal to or lower than 82gCO2eq/kWh as of December 31st, 2030;

o    if the SPT is not achieved, a step-up mechanism will be applied, increasing the rate by 25 bps as of the first interest period subsequent to the publication of the report issued by a third-party expert in respect of the Direct Greenhouse Gas Emissions Amount and the methodology for measuring CO2eq emissions applied by the Group.  

Additional information on the rationale of the bond issue, the Framework and related Second Party Opinion issued by Vigeo Eiris are available to the public on the Enel website, at https://www.enel.com/investors/investing/sustainable-finance/sustainability-linked-finance.

The issue is expected to be listed on the Euronext Dublin regulated market.

EFI also announced today the launch of a Tender Offer to repurchase, and subsequently cancel, for a target maximum aggregate amount of 1 billion euros, four outstanding series of conventional bonds, namely:

  • 2.5 billion euros Notes issued on September 17th, 2009, due September 14th, 2022 and 5.000% coupon (ISIN XS0452187916);
  • 1.0 billion euros Notes issued on October 15th, 2012, due April 17th, 2023 and 4.875% coupon (ISIN XS0842659426);
  • 1.5 billion euros Notes issued on January 27th, 2015, due January 27th, 2025 and 1.966% coupon (ISIN XS1176079843);
  • 1.3 billion euros Notes issued on June 1st, 2016, due June 1st, 2026 and 1.375% coupon (ISIN XS1425966287).

The Tender Offer period commences on June 8th, 2021 and shall terminate on June 14th, 2021.

EFI is targeting to repurchase the abovementioned Notes in cash, subject to a number of conditions; the final amount of Notes repurchased in the Tender Offer will be determined following the end of the Tender Offer period by EFI, which reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to increase or decrease the aforementioned target maximum aggregate amount.

In line with the Group’s current Strategic Plan, the liability management operation combined with the aforementioned new multi-tranche Sustainability-Linked transaction will further accelerate the achievement of the Group’s targets of sustainable finance sources on Group’s total gross debt, set to 48% in 2023 and more than 70% in 2030.

The bond issue and the Tender Offer were supported by a syndicate of banks, with Banca Akros S.p.A. – Gruppo Banco BPM, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Banco Santander, BNP Paribas, CaixaBank, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, J.P. Morgan, Mediobanca, Natixis, Société Générale and UniCredit acting as joint-bookrunners.
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