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Wendel integrates ESG into the financial terms of its undrawn syndicated loan

Three extra-financial criteria were selected to be included in the calculation of the cost of financing the syndicated loan. In this way, Wendel plans to position as a leader in sustainable development among its peers, and to drive a process of excellence and exemplarity for its portfolio companies. Wendel is the only French company in the Diversified Financials sector to be included in the DJSI World and Europe benchmark indexes.

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750 million syndicated loans maturing in October 2024, in order to integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. Measurable elements of the non-financial performance of Wendel and its portfolio companies will now be taken into account in the calculation of the cost of financing of this syndicated loan. They are aligned with certain quantitative ESG objectives that the Group has set in its ESG 2023 roadmap.

“The integration of ESG criteria into our credit line demonstrates our commitment to aligning financial and extra-financial performance, a pillar of sustainable value creation for all our stakeholders. With the help of our eight banking partners, we wanted to mark the integration of the extra-financial performance of Wendel and the Group’s companies through representative and measurable criteria,” said Jérôme Michiels, Executive Vice President, and Chief Financial Officer.

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The three extra-financial criteria selected for inclusion in the calculation of the cost of financing of the syndicated loan are as follows:

The systematic performance of ESG due diligence for new investments made directly by Wendel and the implementation of an ESG roadmap by the controlled companies in its portfolio;

The evaluation and implementation of action plans on climate risk and carbon footprint at the level of controlled portfolio companies;

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The achievement by the end of 2023 of a minimum total percentage of 30% of women among the directors appointed by Wendel within the portfolio companies and certain Group holding companies.

These criteria will be assessed annually by an independent third party and will result in adjustments to the margin of the syndicated loan.

This transaction is fully in line with Wendel’s ESG strategy, communicated in the first quarter of 2020, in particular an ambitious roadmap to 2023 for Wendel and its companies based on a dual objective: to position Wendel as a leader in sustainable development among its peers, and to drive a process of excellence and exemplarity for its portfolio companies. Wendel is the only French company in the Diversified Financials sector to be included in the DJSI World and Europe benchmark indexes, alongside the best-performing companies in terms of sustainable development worldwide.

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First published in BOURSE DIRECT, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Olivia McCall is passionate about education, women and children’s rights, and the environment. A long-time investor, she covers news about the latest stocks (lately marijuana and tech), IPOs and indices, and is always on the lookout for socially responsible startups. She also writes about the food sector, and has a keen interest on cryptocurrencies.