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Sunday, 22 May 2016
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group takes out a Bond securing US$400m to assist in Zero Emission vehicle development.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (“ZGH” or the “Group”) priced the first-ever Green Bond on the offshore market from a Chinese automobile company, raising US$400m to support the development of zero-emission capable vehicles by its UK subsidiary, the London Taxi Company (“LTC”), manufacturer of the iconic London Black Cab.
The senior unsecured bonds, issued through ZGH’s wholly-owned subsidiary LTC GB Limited, carry a fixed interest rate of 2.75% per annum with a tenor of five years, which is the lowest coupon ever amongst the USD bonds issued by Greater China's auto companies. The final order book of over US$2.3bn represented an oversubscription ratio of close to 6 times.
ZGH will use the net proceeds from the Green Bond to finance or refinance the design, development and production of zero-emission capable vehicles by LTC. ZGH is investing GBP300m in LTC’s new research and production facility in Ansty in the West Midlands region of the UK to develop the next generation London taxi, the TX5. The new model was unveiled last October in London in the presence of the Chinese President Xi Jinping during his state visit to the UK. The TX5 is a zero-emission capable vehicle and will be launched in the UK at the end of 2017 and in international markets in 2018. The vehicle will hence be compliant with new environmental requirements being introduced in London.
LTC is also working on several zero-emission model concepts, including light commercial vehicles as part of ZGH’s plans to significantly raise production at LTC and position it as a leading manufacturer of green and environmentally friendly transportation.
“We are delighted with the response of investors to our Green Bond offering” said Yifan Li, CFO of ZGH. “The issuance of the Green Bond is in line with our corporate vision to produce the safest, most environmentally friendly and most energy-efficient vehicles. The commitment of ZGH and all of the Group’s brands to reduce emissions means we are well positioned to benefit from the shift towards ever greener vehicles.”
“We are committed to producing zero-emission capable vehicles,” said Peter Johansen, CEO of LTC. “I believe the issuance of the Green Bond will further enhance our competitive edge in new energy technologies. Our next generation of zero-emission vehicles, the TX5, will be sold across the world, creating an environmentally friendly transportation system.”
Bank of China provided a Standby Letter of Credit for the Green Bond. Joint Global Coordinators included Bank of China, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Société Générale.
ZGH engaged Deloitte to provide independent limited assurance in relation to the Green Bond Management Statement.