Orange today announced the successful launch of its inaugural Sustainability Bond for a total amount of EUR 500 million to finance projects that fully reflect the Group’s ambitions in both the green and social fields.
The Group presented in December 2019 its new 5-year strategic plan called Engage 2025, stating that its operator model will be reinvented and aligned with two strong commitments: the first towards digital and social inclusion, and the second towards the fight against climate change. These commitments fully reflect the purpose which Orange recently added to its bylaws: “As a trusted partner, Orange gives everyone the keys to a responsible digital world”.
For this first issuance, Orange intends to allocate a c.40% of the funds raised into digital and social inclusion projects and c.60% of the funds to energy efficiency and circular economy projects.
Ramon Fernandez, Deputy CEO and Executive Director Finance, Performance and Development, said: “This transaction illustrates Orange’s strong commitment towards social and environmental responsibility. I am very proud that Orange enters the sustainability bonds market and that our inaugural issue has attracted significant interest from socially responsible investors. As the Covid-19 crisis highlighted the essential nature of telecommunications, we feel necessary to drive our business with the objective to contribute to a more sustainable and fair world”.
Elizabeth Tchoungui, Excecutive Director CSR, Diversity and Philanthropy added: “I am so delighted to have joined Orange and to be involved in this significant medium to support our commitment towards digital and social inclusion, as well as environment. We aim to mobilize all of our stakeholders around our sustainable and collective objectives stated in our Engage 2025 strategic plan”.
The bond issue consists of a total nominal of €500 million, with a maturity of 9 years and an annual coupon of 0.125%.
This issue, which was more than 5 times oversubscribed, was met with great success from French and international SRI investors, allowing Orange to broaden its investor base and continue its policy of optimising its funding structure.
See below for the bond characteristics:
Vigeo Eiris, a leading ESG rating agency, has reviewed our sustainability financing framework and delivered its highest level of assurance on Orange’s commitments and on the contribution of the contemplated Bonds to sustainability. The projects selected and the allocation process will be overseen by Orange’s Sustainability Financing Committee. Allocation of the proceeds will be annually audited until completed and yearly update on the impacts of investments will be provided to investors.
The documentation related to this bond issuance is available on our website, under the “Debt and Rating” section.
Crédit Agricole CIB and ING are acting as Global Coordinators and Structuring Advisors.
BBVA, Crédit Agricole CIB, Crédit Suisse, HSBC, ING, Natixis are acting as Bookrunners.