ZURICH, Switzerland – Barry Callebaut AG (the “Company”), the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, has announced the successful placement of its first Schuldscheindarlehen. The Schuldscheindarlehen (or SSD) is generally understood as being a special form of loan contract pursuant to section488 et seq. of the GermanCivil Code (BGB).
Similarly to a conventional corporate bond, an SSD is therefore a favourite mid tolong-term financial instrumentused on a regular basis by many companies. The Company has raised EUR 467 million in Euro and the equivalent1 of EUR 133 million in Swiss franc. The weighted average tenor and interest rate2 is 7.7 years at 1.53% for tranches in Euro and 8.1 years at 1.25% for tranches in Swiss franc.
The transaction marks the first offering since Barry Callebaut’s upgrade to investment grade and constitutes the Company’s first issuance of a Schuldscheindarlehen. The offer was oversubscribed and attracted, besides German and Swiss savings banks, a broad range of international banks. Given the success of its debut in the Schuldscheindarlehen market, the Company considers prepaying its outstanding Senior Note of EUR 250 million maturing June 15, 2021.
Remco Steenbergen, Chief Financial Officer of the Barry Callebaut Group, said: “We are pleased with the very significant investor interest for our debut in the Schuldschein market. This issuance means for our company a further strengthening of the financial profile and diversifies our debt investor base. The sustainability character of the transaction underscores our commitment to our Forever Chocolate initiative, i.e. our plan to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025”.
Two thirds of the proceeds will finance sustainability projects
Barry Callebaut is among the first Swiss industrial companies to issue a Schuldscheindarlehen including tranches which meet sustainability criteria. Following Barry Callebaut’s sustainable revolving credit facility launched in June 2017, the transaction underscores the Company’s commitment to sustainability. Two-thirds of the proceeds of the offering will be used to finance eligible sustainability projects as defined in the Company’s Sustainability Bond Framework and reviewed by Sustainalytics.
New Sustainability Bond Framework released in November 2018
As part of its plan to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025, Barry Callebaut released on November 22, 2018 its Sustainability Bond Framework, which it intends to use for financing or refinancing projects supporting and enhancing the Company’s social and environmental programs in key strategic areas such as sustainable cocoa sourcing. The Sustainability Bond Framework is fully aligned with the Group’s strategy and follows the guidelines of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), Green Bond Principles, Social Bond Principles and Sustainability Bond Guidelines 2018. Sustainalytics, a provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research and analysis, has provided a second-party opinion on Barry Callebaut’s Sustainability Bond Framework.
1 CHF translated at EUR/CHF FX rate equal to 1.139.
2 The EUR and CHF floating tranches, which represent 56% of the total volume of the transaction, have as a base rate the 6-month EURIBOR respectively the 6-month CHF LIBOR, both floored at 0%.