VIA Outlets raises €600m through first green bond
Premium outlet malls operator VIA Outlets said this week that it has raised €600 million in its inaugural green bond issuance and saw “high demand”. The proceeds will be used to refinance the vast majority of its outstanding secured debt.
The company, which owns 11 outlet centres, said the issuance was six times oversubscribed, attracting 190 orders from institutional investors for €3.6 billion.
It’s the first ‘green bond’ ever issued by an outlet owner-operator in Europe and as well as paying off debt, the firm said it would “allow it to execute its growth strategy in the coming years”. In parallel to the bonds, a €100 million revolving credit facility was arranged with a number of banks.
The firm’s CFO Peter Stals said the level of oversubscription received “underlines investors’ recognition of the strength of our business and the importance they rightly place on sustainable investment. The issuance significantly improves our financing and maturity profile, diversifies our funding base and reduces our average nominal financing costs by more than 50 basis points to below 1.7%”.
And CEO Otto Ambagtsheer added: “A key milestone for VIA Outlets, this initiative will enable us to continue our work to redefine the outlet shopping experience and be instrumental in further driving our 3 R’s growth strategy of remodelling, remerchandising and remarketing. At the same time, it also allows us to future-proof our centres from a digital and sustainability point of view as part of our recently launched sustainability strategy ‘Beyond Sustainable’.”
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