With a volume of € 400 million, Aurubis placed a loan with an ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) component for the first time. Aurubis is the first company in the basic materials industry in Europe to do so, making it a forerunner within the sector. With the ESG-linked loan, investors have the opportunity to invest capital in accordance with clear sustainability aspects.
The order book volume of € 200 million was oversubscribed by two and half times due to strong investor demand. This allowed for an increase of the issue to € 400 million, which comprises tranches with terms of three, five, and seven years, each with a fixed and variable interest rate. The high level of interest among investors is based on both the ESG component and Aurubis’ creditworthiness. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the MDAX company paid dividends for the last fiscal year, initiated a share buyback program, and, with the release of the half-year figures in May, confirmed its forecast for fiscal year 2019/20.
Aurubis will use these funds for general company financing as well as for the acquisition of the Belgian-Spanish recycler Metallo (purchase price: € 380 million). Aurubis announced the formal closing of the transaction on June 2, 2020. Metallo’s expertise and technology will supplement the Aurubis Group’s capabilities when it comes to processing complex recycling materials. Aurubis is therefore expanding its portfolio and will be able to return more base metals, which are in high demand in Europe due especially to megatrends such as digitalization and e-mobility, to the value chain in the future.
Roland Harings, Aurubis AG Chief Executive Officer, explained, “Together with Metallo, we will process about 1 million tons of recycling materials annually in the future, which already makes us an important part of Europe’s circular economy. By returning the valuable materials of modern life, including a number of metals from electrical and electronic devices, to the economic cycle in the highest purity, we make a key contribution to conserving resources.”
Harings continued, “In the process, Aurubis pursues a clear growth strategy whose objective is to boost efficiency while improving sustainability at the same time. At Aurubis, this isn’t a contradiction, but our day-to-day reality: economic efficiency and ecological and social responsibility go hand in hand, a principle that also applies to financing, as with the ESG-linked loan.”
About 90 investors took part in the ESG-linked Schuldschein loan – including savings banks, private banks, credit unions, and non-German banks. “We view the high level of investor interest as clear proof of our very robust financial KPIs, our sustainably positioned business model, and our responsible business activities,” remarked Rainer Verhoeven, Aurubis AG Chief Financial Officer. “Our sustainability achievements flow directly into the calculation of our interest costs for the loan. This is oriented to the rating issued by the recognized, independent sustainability agency EcoVadis.”
Rainer Verhoeven explained, “If we’re in a position to improve our sustainability rating, we receive more favorable interest rate conditions for the loan; if we’re not, and our rating declines, the interest rate increases. Our responsibility for supply chains, the environment, and people is therefore directly linked to the financing costs.”
The assessment methods used by EcoVadis are based on international sustainability standards and are monitored by an international scientific committee made up of CSR and supply chain experts.
Aurubis issued the mandate for the placement of the Schuldschein loan to Commerzbank AG, DZ Bank AG, and the Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba).