UniCredit and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti surpassed the €100-million mark for the ESG Basket Bond in eight months, placing the second tranche of €53.5 million 6-year asset-backed notes with underlying minibonds issued by five companies. A third tranche of issuances is planned for the end of the year.
The program started in December 2022 with an initial issuance of asset-backed notes totaling €48 million in total, with underlying minibonds maturing in 6 years issued by eight SMEs December 2022 with the aim of financing sustainable development projects of SMEs totaling at least €100 million. Thanks to this new tranche, UniCredit and CDP’s ESG Basket Bond thus come to support a total of 13 companies by mobilizing €101.5 million in favor of sustainability.
As was the case with the first tranche, the minibonds were underwritten by a securitization spv, which in turn issued securities underwritten, in equal shares, by Unicredit and CDP. The ESG Basket Bond also enjoys the guarantee of the European Guarantee Fund (EGF), managed by the EIB to cover 90 percent of the losses incurred on individual minibonds, and up to the maximum capacity of 35 percent of the total portfolio.
In the transaction, Master Gardant Spa acted as servicer, corporate servicer, and calculation agent, and Loan Agency Services Srl as monitoring agent, paying agent, and representative of the noteholders. The investors were assisted by Legance Avvocati Associati.
With the minibond issuances, companies commit to improving their sustainability scoring assigned by an external company, the Cerved Rating Agency, with monitoring starting in the third year after issuance. UniCredit acted as arranger and sustainability coordinator in the activities
UniCredit – Public necessary for the assignment of the initial ESG scoring and the identification of an improvement target, consistent with European guidelines and best practices in the sustainable finance market.
Read more about UniCredit and CDP’s ESG Basket Bond and find the latest financial news of the day with the Born2Invest mobile app.
In detail, the five issuing companies for UniCredit and CDP ESG Basket Bond are as follows
Sacco srl, based in Cadorago (Como), issued a €17.5 million minibond; The company is controlled by the Verga family through Sacco System Holding srl, a biotech hub of international excellence that supplies ingredients to the food, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical industries in Italy and around the world. The company, now in its fifth generation, is at the forefront of research and development, production, and packaging of selected, freeze-dried, and frozen microbial cultures.
The minibond is aimed at supporting investments for the expansion of lines dedicated to the production of frozen microorganisms in the Cadorago and Vertemate (Como) plants for the development of a new business unit. which ended 2021 with €67 million in revenues, an EBITDA of €19.5 million, and net cash of €11.4 million.
Ledoga srl, based in Cuneo, issued a €15-million minibond. The company specializes in the production of vegetable tannin and has been active since 1868 in the extraction of natural tannins from chestnut wood. The company is part of the Silvateam Group, which has been producing natural tannins around the world for 170, also using quebracho wood in Argentina and tara in Peru, and today is the world leader in this sector.
The minibond is aimed at increasing the production capacity of chestnut tannins at the San Michele di Mondovì plant through an investment with a strong ESG matrix, evidenced both by the reuse of waste with circular logic to produce pellets, and the integration of a photovoltaic system to serve the entire production site.
IN March 2020, the company had already issued a €10 million minibond as part of the Intesa Sanpaolo Basket Bond Program launched in September 2019 by the bank, together with Elite Spa, the subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange Group. It was a second minibond for Ledoga, which in December 2019 had issued a €150,000 short-term one maturing in June 2020 with a 4.3 percent coupon. which ended 2022 with €104.1 million in revenues, EBITDA of €28.5 million, and net financial debt of €41.8 million.
Forlì-based CDS Holding spa has issued a €10-million minibond. The company is among the leading national operators in the outdoor tourism sector and owns Club del Sole campgrounds, among others. Since the beginning of 2019, the company has been 40.13 percent owned by First Club srl, a club deal vehicle controlled by NB Aurora and in which Diesel patron Renzo Rosso’s Red Circle, among others, participates, while the rest of the capital has remained in the hands of the Giondi family. The minibond is aimed at the growth of the group, which ended 2021 with €60.2 million euros in revenues, an EBITDA of €15.7 million, and a net financial debt of €61.3 million.
Samso spa, based in Milan, issued an €8 million minibond. Samso is an Energy Service Company (E.S.Co.) certified in accordance with ISO 9001, 14001, 45001, UNI 11352, and SA8000, specializing in the design, implementation, and financing of energy efficiency interventions and the installation of zero-emission charging points for sustainable mobility; it operates throughout the country where it has three offices in Milan, Padua, and Salerno. The minibond is aimed at infrastructure investments for new power generation plants, electric charging stations, and photovoltaic production facilities within Energy Communities.
The company has been controlled since the end of 2022 by Asterion Industrial Partners, an independent Spanish private equity group investing in European infrastructure, founded by former Endesa Europa number one Jesu’s Olmos, who acquired Samso through his Fund II’s Energy Transition Solutions platform, with the founders, Igor Bovo and Gianpiero Cascone, re-investing in the acquisition veicoo ETS Italia srl. The company ended 2022 with €23.6 million in revenues, EBITDA of €6.1 million, and net financial debt of €11.2 million.
Eagleprojects Spa, based in Perugia, issued a €3 million minibond. The company, founded in 2016, is mainly active in network design and project management for telecommunications and in energy and utilities internationally, and the minibond is aimed at supporting new investment projects involving the development of computer vision and deep learning systems, automation of production processes related to the digitization and monitoring of land and infrastructure, and the development of software and IoT platforms that will find application in the active management of renewable energy systems and water infrastructure.
This is the second bond issue for the company, which in 2022 had issued a €7 million bond maturing in 2028, which was fully subscribed by Illimity Bank. The company closed its 2022 financial statements with a value of production of €31.4 million, net revenues of €26.5 million, EBITDA of €5.9 million, and net financial debt of €10.1 million.
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