The Marcegaglia Group has finalized with Alba Leasing (participated by Banco BPM, BPER Banca, Banca Popolare di Sondrio, and Crédit Agricole Italia) the first sustainability-linked leasing transaction in Italy, for the acquisition of a rolling mill for the Ravenna plant and two cogenerators in the Ravenna and Gazoldo degli Ippoliti plants, which will enable the plants’ energy consumption demand to be met, with the possibility of producing, in addition to electricity, thermal energy in the form of steam and hot water.
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In detail, these are three capital leases, with a total value of €75 million, which require the steel group, led by Antonio and Emma Marcegaglia, to achieve specific ESG objectives
This is not the first experiment in sustainable finance for the Marcegaglia group, which in May last year, through Marcegaglia Steel, had taken out a €1 billion 6-year syndicated loan with a pool of banks, which was the first ESG-linked deal in the steel sector in Italy. The loan consisted of €700 million to refinance medium-term lines maturing between 2024 and 2026, €200 million to support investments, and €100 million in revolving credit. With part of those resources, the group, through its U.K. subsidiary of the same name, had announced at the same time the acquisition of a significant part of the assets of the Liberty Steel group, controlled by Indian tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, related to the Liberty Precision Tubes plant in Oldbury.
Returning to the leasing transaction just announced, Stefano Rossi, General Manager of Alba Leasing, commented, “It is with great satisfaction that we announce that we have finalized the first Italian-linked sustainability leasing transaction with a world leader in its sector such as the Marcegaglia Group. We are convinced that leasing can be a useful tool to support companies, to give new impetus to the country also with a view to sustainability. That’s why we have decided to engage in projects focused on topical issues, such as respect for the environment, energy transition, and independence, without ever forgetting technological innovation. Our commitment to supporting entrepreneurship remains a priority, which is why we will continue our efforts in 2023, being able to count on the ability of our professionals to study financing solutions specifically tailored to the needs of each business.”
Federico Mottaran, managing director of the Marcegaglia group, added, “This operation confirms the group’s strong commitment to the direction of sustainability that is real, increasingly conscious, and, above all, inherent in all our industrial activities. The goal is to make a concrete contribution to the ecological transition with solutions that are compatible with the needs of industry, in this specific case the steel industry, and the need to generate a positive impact for employees, communities, and territories where we are present. Alba Leasing has proven to be a reliable and competent partner with whom we have found the best solution to finance three important investment projects for the group.”
Marcegaglia is also very active on the innovation front
The Marcegaglia group has 6,600 employees, 60 sales offices, 29 steel mills, and a 2021 turnover of €7.7 billion, an EBITDA of €632.6 million (+20 percent over 2020), and 6.2 million tons of steel processed per year. In July 2022, it acquired the stainless steel long products business (Bond Products business) of the Finnish multinational Outokumpu for €228 million, based on an enterprise value of the acquired perimeter of 4.9 times the 2021 adjusted EBITDA, which had been €47 million against €810 million in revenues. A few days earlier the Marcegaglia group, through its subsidiary Marcegaglia Specialties spa, had completed the acquisition of the entire capital of Trafital spa, one of Italy’s historic wire drawing mills, based in Gorla Minore, in the province of Varese, from the Vergani, Errico and Fossati families. And then again, in mid-May 2022, as mentioned, it had acquired part of the assets of the Liberty Steel group.
Marcegaglia is also very active on the innovation front. In the summer of 2021, the Mantua-based group, together with Exor, a holding company controlled by the Agnelli family, participated in the $105 million round of Sweden’s H2 Green Steel (H2GS), flanking international investors of the caliber of the venture capital fund Altor Fund V, Ane & Robert Maersk Uggla (the family major shareholder in shipping giant Maersk), the Bilstein Group (German auto parts manufacturer), sustainable energy specialist accelerator EIT InnoEnergy, FAM (holding company of the Wallenberg family, one of Sweden’s richest and most powerful business families with interests ranging from Saab to Ericcson, Electrolux to ABB, as well as being the sponsor of private equity group EQT ), and IMAS Foundation (holding company of the IKEA group).
H2GS is building a greenfield steel plant in northern Sweden’s Boden to produce fossil-free steel at competitive costs. The project includes a giant-scale green hydrogen plant as an integral part of the steel production facility. Production will begin in 2024, and by 2030 H2GS will have an annual production capacity of five million tons of high-quality steel. Marcegaglia will not only be a financier, but also an industrial and strategic partner: it will process 250 thousand tons of steel per year in the first phase of operation and 500 thereafter.
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First published in Be Beez, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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