Groupe BPCE becomes the first European issuer of green bonds devoted to sustainable agriculture, through a €750m issue enabling the Banque Populaire banks to refinance their assets in the sector
Groupe BPCE has become the first European issuer to raise liquidity devoted to refinancing sustainable agriculture-linked assets, through a €750m green bond issue.
By extending the Group’s sustainable refinancing strategy, the issue is fully consistent with the major climate-related objectives included in Groupe BPCE’s strategic plan. This maiden €750m green issue devoted to sustainable agriculture is also a first in Europe for this asset type and represents an innovation by Groupe BPCE with the publication of the first methodological note devoted to sustainable agriculture, in alignment with the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals. (for more information on Groupe BPCE’s green bonds: https://groupebpce.com/investisseurs/dette/obligations-vertes)
The transaction is geared to refinancing assets of the Banque Populaire banks, the third-largest banking player in the agricultural sector in France. For many years the Banque Populaire banks have been supporting agricultural transition and the transformation of production models towards a more sustainable and more local form of agriculture which respects natural resources and biodiversity and thereby enables farmers to adapt to climate change.
This non-preferred senior 6-year non-call 5 structure (maximum duration of 6 years with early redemption possible after 5) elicited strong demand, primarily from ESG investors. It adds to the existing ESG bonds and ESG RMBS issued by the Group which totaled €9.5bn at end-2021, including €5.2bn in the form of green and transition bonds and RMBS, and thereby confirms Groupe BPCE’s pro-climate commitment. This latest issue expands the amount of the Group’s outstanding ESG bonds and RMBS to over €10bn. The issue was lead-managed by Natixis in the capacity of sole bookrunner.