Schoenherr advised BofA Securities and J.P. Morgan in their capacities as Joint ESG Structuring Agents and Joint Bookrunners, as well as Erste Group, Morgan Stanley and Société Générale in their capacities as Joint Bookrunners, in connection with the successful issue of EUR 500 million 0.90 % Green and Sustainability-Linked Notes due 1 April 2041 by VERBUND AG ("VERBUND") as to Austrian law.
On 1 April 2021, VERBUND issued the EUR 500 million Green and Sustainability-Linked Notes under German law (ISIN: XS2320746394). An amount equal to the net proceeds from the issue is intended to be used for so-called "Eligible Green Projects" in accordance with the VERBUND Green Financing Framework within three years of the issuance of the notes. With regard to the allocation of this amount, VERBUND intends to focus on its Eligible Green Projects for the hydro powerplant Töging-Jettenbach, the Austrian Power Grid (APG) project Weinviertel line and the APG project Reschenpass.
The notes were successfully placed among institutional investors and were oversubscribed several times. Investors with a focus on sustainability were given preferential treatment in the allocation process and represented more than 90 % of the final order book. The notes have a denomination of EUR 100,000 each and provide for a coupon step-up in case two targets set by VERBUND are not achieved by the end of 2032. They are listed on the regulated market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange as well as on the Official Market of the Vienna Stock Exchange. The rating for the notes is "A" by S&P and "A3" by Moody's.
"The issue of notes under the VERBUND Green Financing Framework, which aligns with the current draft of the Delegated Acts of the EU Taxonomy, was a highly successful transaction. We are very pleased that the bookrunners relied on our expertise in relation to this innovative Green and Sustainability-Linked Issuance", says Schoenherr partner and co-head of Schoenherr's capital markets practice Christoph Moser.
VERBUND is Austria's leading electricity company and one of the largest producers of electricity from hydropower in Europe. Close to 100 % of VERBUND's electricity generation comes from climate friendly, renewable hydropower.
The Schoenherr team consisted of Christoph Moser (lead partner), Ursula Rath (partner), Angelika Fischer (associate) and Viktoria Stark (associate).
Linklaters LLP, Frankfurt am Main (partners: Alexander Schlee and Peter Waltz) acted as international counsel to the Joint ESG Structuring Agents and Joint Bookrunners. Binder Grösswang (partner: Emanuel Welten) advised the issuer as to Austrian law on the transaction. White & Case LLP, Frankfurt am Main (partner: Karsten Wöckener) acted as international counsel to VERBUND.