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Another 42 Million Euros of Issues for the ESG Basket Bond Supported by CDP and Unicredit

The ESG Basket Bond began with a €48 million issuance for 8 SMEs in December 2022 and reached €100 million by August 2023. Companies issue minibonds, improving their ESG scores, with UniCredit and CDP subscribing. Six companies, including Officine Tecnosider and Tre Zeta, issued minibonds for sustainability and expansion, supported by unique compliance technologies.




The resources mobilized for the ESG Basket Bond so far by UniCredit and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti since the launch of the initiative in December 2022 have exceeded 143 million euros. With two new tranches of issues, for a total of 42 million euros in favor of six Italian SMEs and mid-caps, the program has managed to support the ESG investments of a total of nineteen Italian companies.

The ESG Basket Bond started in 2022

As mentioned, the ESG Basket Bond started a year and a half ago with a first issue of asset-backed notes for a total of 48 million euros, with underlying minibonds maturing in 6 years issued by 8 SMEs in December 2022 with the aim of financing sustainable development projects for SMEs for a total of at least 100 million euros, a target achieved in August last year with the placement of asset-backed notes with a 6-year maturity for 53.5 million euros with underlying minibonds issued by five companies.

As already happened with the initiatives finalized in recent months, the companies involved have issued minibonds with a duration of six years. These instruments were subscribed by the special purpose vehicle Basket Bond ESG spv srl, which in turn issued securities subscribed, in equal shares, by UniCredit and CDP as institutional investors.

With the issuance of minibonds, companies undertake to improve their sustainability scoring assigned by an external company, Cerved Rating Agency, with monitoring starting from the third year after issuance. UniCredit acted as arranger and sustainability coordinator in the activities necessary for the assignment of the initial ESG scoring and for the identification of an improvement objective, in line with the European guidelines and the best practices of the sustainable finance market.

In detail, the six companies involved in the last two tranches were: Officine Tecnosider srl, Tre Zeta Group spa, Alma Petroli spa, Grifal spa, Sapori Artigianali srl and Coimec Coibentazioni Termoacustiche spa.

Officine Tecnosider srl, based in San Giorgio di Nogaro (Udine), has issued a 17.5 million minibond. The company, active in the steel sector and in particular in steel rolling, is controlled by Trasteel Trading Holding sa, an international trading and industrial group active in the steel and metallurgical sector with registered office in Switzerland . The minibond is intended to support Officine Tercnosider’s investment plan, focused on strengthening the production line relating to steel processing.

The planned investments will allow the company to further consolidate its leadership on the reference markets. We remind you that last December Officine Tecnosider had securitized its trade receivables and warehouse together with Tamac srl (another company controlled by Trasteel) for a total value of 77 million euros. The operation was structured by illimity Bank , which acted as arranger and sponsor and which underwrote the senior tranche of the securitization. The ABS were also subscribed to by other investors, as well as by the originator.

Furthermore, in 2018, the company had issued a minibond of 15 million euros expiring in December 2024, subscribed by a group of investors including the Iccrea banking group , Mediocredito Friuli Venezia Giulia, Friulia and some mutual banks , including Banca di Udine Credito Cooperativo. Officine Tecnosider closed 2022 with a turnover of 317.2 million, an ebitda of 19.2 million and a net debt of 37.4 million.

Tre Zeta Group spa, a company based in San Minato (Pisa), has issued a 10 million euro minibond. Specialized in the production of soles for luxury shoes, and controlled by Koinos Capital since December 2021, it collaborates with the most important global fashion brands in the production and design phases, helping to transform the creativity of designers into objects with distinctive and iconic characteristics.

The new resources will be at the service of the m&a activity which sees Tre Zeta committed to aggregating the best companies to further expand the range of processes offered , positioning itself as an increasingly integrated partner focused on the structure of the shoe. Among Tre Zeta’s latest acquisitions we remember those of Tacchificio Pienne (production of heels, wedges, platforms, wooden clogs and accessories for women’s formal footwear), last February;

Walking World (production of footbeds and fillers for polyurethane foam and film soles), in January 2024; Solettificio Do.Gi. (production of insoles for women’s formal footwear), in November 2023; Suolificio Magonio (soles for the formal world), in January last year; and Stil Stampi (production of aluminum molds for soles), in November 2022. Tre Zeta closed 2022 with a turnover of 54.9 million, ebitda of 4.8 million and net debt of 11.1 million.

Then there is Alma Petroli spa, which, based in Ravenna and specialized in the production of high quality bitumen, has issued a 7 million euro ESG linked minibond. The resources deriving from the operation, which dates back to last December and expires on 22 December 2029, will be used in the implementation of the industrial plan which includes investments with a positive impact on the environment, such as the modernization of specific tanks and systems aimed at reducing the Co2 emitted, reducing the risk of soil and subsoil pollution, reducing the use of industrial water and reducing the emission of volatile organic compounds.

The operation follows the 10 million euro operation of July 2020, in turn expiring in 6 years, which at the time had been entirely subscribed by UniCredit. Alma Petroli is controlled by the Serena Monghini family (with Antonio and Francesca with 32.5% each; and Andrea and Carla Beatrice with 6.5% each), supported by the Baracca family (with Enrico, Stefano and Carla with 14% respectively, 5%, 4% and 2%) and by Alda Marangoni (1.5%).

The company closed 2022 with 167.6 million euros in revenues (+67% from 2021), an ebitda of 27.3 million (from 8.3 million) and a net profit of 14.3 million (from 1, 1 million), against net liquidity of 13.4 million euros. At a consolidated level, thanks to the excellent performance of the subsidiary Alma Services , the value of the group’s production exceeded 181 million euros, net revenues stood at 174 million and the ebitda it exceeded 29 million, compared to net liquidity of 14 million.

Grifal spa, based in Cologno al Serio (Bergamo), has issued a 6 million minibond. Controlled mostly by the Gritti family through the vehicle G-Quattronove srl, the company operates in the production and marketing sector of packaging products for protection and filling , intended for industrial use. Characterized by continuous investments in research and development (R&D), it has filed over 20 patents, both in Europe and in the United States of America and ranks among the technological companies and innovative SMEs thanks to the in-house design and implementation of technologies for ‘ripple.

The minibond is mainly intended for investments in R&D, as well as for the purchase of machinery instrumental and functional to the production activity as part of the development plan. The group closed 2023 with consolidated revenues of 37.8 million euros, ebitda of 5.6 million and consolidated net worth of 18.3 million.

Sapori Artigianali srl, a company founded in 2014 in the province of Brescia, has issued a 4 million minibond. 100% controlled by Mauro Tiberti , Sapori Artigianali operates with over 110 ODSstore branded points of sale , of which more than 20 in the main Italian cities and over 30 in shopping centres . In 2023 it began to develop its business outside of Italy, opening two stores in Poland, with plans to expand the project to France and Spain in 2024. The group then has 34 KFC brand stores and a hotel 4-star & Restaurant with adjoining restaurant and rooftop in Milan’s Piazza Duomo.

This minibond is intended to support the growth plan through the opening of new sales points in Italy and abroad and follows the recent issue of the 3 million euro bond with a duration of 72 months entirely subscribed by Banca Valsabbina and backed by a Medio Credito Centrale. The group closed the 2022 financial statements with 143.4 million euros of production value, consolidated net revenues of 139.2 million , an ebitda of 10.4 million and a net financial debt of 13.8 million. The resources collected with the issuance of the minibond will be used to support the growth plan through new store openings.

Finally, Coimec Coibentati Termoacustiche spa, based in Cormano (Milan), issued a 3 million minibond. Majorly controlled by the Perna family through the vehicle Isolmec Holding , the company has been operating for over 40 years in the thermo-acoustic insulation sector and in the field of industrial and civil plant engineering. Specifically, the company creates new systems as well as ordinary and extraordinary maintenance on existing systems . The minibond is intended to support investments in multidirectional scaffolding and equipment for the realization of orders abroad. In 2022 the group had a turnover of 29.9 million euros, the ebitda was 2.8 million and the net debt was 4.8 million.

Remo Taricani, deputy head of UniCredit Italia, commented: “The new tranche of the ESG Basket Bond structured with CDP confirms our leadership in the sector of bond issues in favor of small and medium-sized enterprises and reaffirms the validity of minibonds as effective toolsfor financing of investments aimed at ecological transition and sustainability. Our goal is to give continuity and strengthen this trend, which in 2023 saw the presence ofsustainability objectives in more than 50% of the minibond issuance operations handled by UniCredit.”

Massimo Di Carlo , deputy general director and business director of CDP, added: “We are proud to see more and more companies using minibonds as an innovative financial lever to support their growth projects, especially when the issues represent a real opportunity to increase resources dedicated to ESG issues. The program structured with UniCredit fully follows this approach and confirms Cassa’s strong commitment in the path of accompaniment to the capital market of Italian companies, also through instruments aimed at developing investment plans oriented towards sustainability.”


(Featured image by geralt via Pixabay)

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Jeremy Whannell loves writing about the great outdoors, business ventures and tech giants, cryptocurrencies, marijuana stocks, and other investment topics. His proficiency in internet culture rivals his obsession with artificial intelligence and gaming developments. A biker and nature enthusiast, he prefers working and writing out in the wild over an afternoon in a coffee shop.