With the tightening of access to liquidity in the market, paired with a greater demand for innovation and flexibility, are borrowers to get the financing terms they need in such tumultuous times? Are we starting to see an uptick in requests for ECA financing? Which financing alternatives are being deployed? We discuss what local borrowers require to have their financing needs met.
We have spent a lot of time quibbling over taxonomies and criteria, but the export finance industry is now taking sustainability far more seriously: some organisations are even pledging up to $200 billion in sustainability-linked financing by 2025. In a shift from previous years, companies are increasingly looking at the carbon footprint or ‘green’ impact that their investments leave behind. To transform ambitious targets into reality, we have got to rethink how we incorporate sustainability into deal-making. We consider how to make this happen:
2020, a year that rivals the impact of the 2008 Recession with a global health crisis, upcoming US elections, environmental disasters, and geopolitical tensions on the rise, the need for ECA support is vital.
We shine the spotlight on this $743 million ECA-backed financing; made up of $488 million of eight-year-and-11-month SACE-covered debt and a $255 million eight-year-and six-month tranches covered by Euler Hermes, structured under National Grid’s Green Financing Framework. The facilities are being provided by BNP Paribas the structuring bank, bookrunner, mandated lead arranger and lender of both facilities, Euler Hermes the agent, HSBC the bookrunner, MLA, lender and agent of the SACE tranche, and NatWest the bookrunner, mandated lead arranger, lender and facility agent of the Euler Hermes tranche. The banks, SACE and SIMEST were advised by Clifford Chance, and National Grid was advised by Linklaters. It represents the first time multiple ECAs have come together to finance a green project of this size. It was also unique in signing over lockdown which presents a whole myriad of challenges that were successfully navigated. Key actors in this transaction are invited to the silver screen to discuss their role in successfully bringing this project to close, and what it means for the green projects our industry will finance going forward.