Following the introduction of its new “Sustainable Finance Framework” just over a month ago, Henkel has now issued the first two sustainability-linked bonds under this framework. A bond with a volume of 500 million euros, a maturity of eleven years and an interest rate of 0.5 percent was issued, as well as a bond with a volume of 250 million US dollars (equivalent to approx. 220 million euros), a maturity of five years and an interest rate of 1.8%.
This makes Henkel the first company in its sector to place a euro sustainability-linked bond. With the sustainability-linked-US dollar bond, Henkel is also the first issuer ever in the Eurodollar market. The proceeds of the issue are to be used for general corporate purposes, including the refinancing of a bond that became due.
“The placement of the two bonds once again underpins our commitment and pioneering spirit in the area of sustainable financing. At the same time, this issuance reaffirms our commitment to achieving our sustainability goals. The Henkel Finance organization has also set itself the goal of actively driving sustainability,” said Henkel CFO Marco Swoboda. “The successful transaction demonstrates once more our company’s high credit quality and its excellent access to the capital markets.”
The financing costs for the bonds are linked to the achievement of Henkel’s sustainability targets, as defined in the Sustainable Finance Framework. Therefore, Henkel has defined three different KPIs and specific targets. This involves reducing CO2 emissions on the one hand and increasing the proportion of recycled plastic in plastic packaging on the other. Two of the three defined performance indicators are used for each bond. If one or both performance indicators are not met, the interest rate is adjusted. With the performance indicators set, Henkel has already covered all defined performance indicators with its first issuance under its Sustainable Finance Framework.
The placement of the euro bond was supported by ING, Société Générale, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, the US dollar bond by ING, Société Générale and Deutsche Bank.
Henkel implemented innovative solutions in the area of Sustainable Finance at an early stage. In 2018, Henkel was the first company in Germany and worldwide in its industry to conclude a syndicated ‘sustainability-linked loan’, a credit facility linked to Henkel’s performance in three independent sustainability ratings. In July 2020, Henkel became the first company worldwide to issue a plastic waste reduction bond, the proceeds of which are specifically allocated to projects and expenditures to reduce plastic waste.