Investors snap up first property company green bond in Euros as Unibail-Rodamco issues €750m paper

Bond is 3.4 times oversubscribed in two hours.

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Unibail-Rodamco, the €30.5bn real estate developer, has added to the flurry of green bonds coming to market by issuing a €750m bond, the first for a property company in the Euro market, which was oversubscribed almost four times by investors in just two hours. Unibail-Rodamco said the green bond with a coupon of 2.5% for a 10-year maturity took orders of €2.5bn, demonstrating serious investor appetite. Just over half (51%) of the buying investors were from France, 19% in the UK, 12% in Germany and Austria and 6% in the Nordic region. Investors from Italy, Switzerland and Asia made up the rest. The breakdown by type of investor showed asset managers taking 61% of the paper, 32% going to insurance companies and pension funds, 4% to banks and private banks and 3% to other investors. Unibail-Rodamco is one of Europe’s biggest listed commercial property companies. It specialises in shopping centres in European capital cities, and offices, convention and exhibition centres in Paris.
 Speaking to Responsible Investor, Fabrice Mouchel, Deputy Chief Financial Officer – Member of the Management Board at Unibail-Rodamco, said the green bond issuance fitted a strategy of diversifying its funding sources: “The ‘green’ bond market was natural because sustainability is at the heart of the group’s activities. This includes BREEAM (BuildingResearch Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certification for both our development projects and existing managed assets.” Mouchel said the proceeds of the bond would be invested in eligible property assets that are at the “design” or “in-use” phase and at least meet the ‘very good’ BREEAM level as well as a set of social and environmental criteria, which were assessed by Vigeo, the ESG research house, to ensure they meet socially responsible investor’s high standard requirements. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Crédit Agricole carried out the investor roadshows for the bond issue and an additional seven banks were bookmakers on the trade: Barclays, Crédit Mutuel, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, RBS and UBS. Earlier this week, RI reported that the Climate Bonds Initiative, the not-for-profit group that champions the development of the sector, said it believed the international green bonds market could grow to $100bn by the time of next year’s United Nations conference on climate change in Paris. The market is already worth over $14bn, and more than $2.5bn in bonds have already been issued this year. The first corporate green bond linked to property, but priced in Krona, was issued by Sweden’s Vasakronan for $197m in November, 2013.