Ahold Delhaize announced that it successfully priced its inaugural Sustainability-Linked Bond, amounting to €600 million with a term of 9 years, maturing on March 18, 2030.
The bond was issued in accordance with Ahold Delhaize’s published Sustainability-Linked Bond Framework (the Framework), which follows the ICMA Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles. In its Second Party Opinion, Sustainalytics considers the Sustainability Performance Targets (SPTs) ambitious and aligned with Ahold Delhaize’s sustainability strategy, including alignment with a 1.5-degree temperature rise scenario and Ahold Delhaize’s leading efforts with respect to food waste reduction. The Framework and Second Party Opinion can be found here.
The transaction follows the closing of a €1 billion Sustainability-Linked Revolving Credit Facility in December 2020 and the 2019 issuance of an inaugural Sustainability Bond, where the proceeds were exclusively spent on sustainability projects across Ahold Delhaize. All three reinforce the alignment of the company’s funding strategy to its commitments laid out in its Healthy & Sustainable ambition.
Frans Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Ahold Delhaize, said: “I am excited to issue our first Sustainability-Linked Bond today. It helps us accelerate the achievement of the ESG targets we set in our Healthy and Sustainable roadmap and is another important step for our organization to contribute to the 1.5-degree Paris agreement.”
The bond pays an annual coupon of 0.375% and was issued at a price of 99.63% of the nominal value. The bond will settle on March 18, 2021 and will be listed on Euronext Amsterdam. The proceeds will be used for refinancing of debt maturities and general corporate purposes.
The bond is linked to Ahold Delhaize achieving two Sustainability Performance Targets (SPTs) by 2025:
SPT 1: Reduction of Scope 1 and 2 CO2e emissions by 29% from a 2018 baseline
SPT 2: Reduction of food waste by 32% from a 2016 baseline
The sustainability-linked feature will result in a coupon adjustment if Ahold Delhaize’s performance does not achieve one or both of the stated SPTs.
SPT 1 and 2 are aligned with Ahold Delhaize’s 2030 goals aiming to reduce Scope 1 and 2 CO2e emissions by 50% and food waste by 50%. The carbon emission goal is validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative and the food waste goal is measured according to the Food Loss and Waste Protocol.
Natalie Knight, Chief Financial Officer of Ahold Delhaize, said: “Sustainability-Linked Bonds represent the next phase of our ESG financing, where we bring our long-term commitments to tackle our carbon footprint and food waste directly to our investors. I am grateful for the trust our investors place in us and look forward to further partnering with them on our sustainability journey.”
J.P. Morgan and Société Générale acted as Sustainability-Linked Bond Structuring agents to the Issuer and BNP Paribas, BofA Securities, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE, J.P. Morgan and Société Générale acted as joint bookrunners on the bond issuance.