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Georgia Global Utilities issues green bonds

Finance Materials 25 July 2020 09:25
Georgia Global Utilities issues green bonds

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 24

By Tamilla Mammadova – Trend:

Georgia Capital PLC has announced that the holding company of the Group's water utility business and the operational renewable energy assets (JSC Georgia Global Utilities or "GGU") has successfully priced an inaugural $250 million green bond offering (the "Notes") on 23 July 2020, Trend reports via Georgia Capital.

Green bonds were created to fund projects that have positive environmental and/or climate benefits. The majority of the green bonds issued are green “use of proceeds” or asset-linked bonds. Proceeds from these bonds are earmarked for green projects but are backed by the issuer's entire balance sheet.

"I am delighted to announce that GGU has issued the first-ever green notes from Georgia. The transaction was met with considerable interest from investors, demonstrating once again our superior access to capital even during the current unprecedented times," said Georgia Capital Chairman and CEO Irakli Gilauri.

He said the issuance of the bonds significantly improves the financial flexibility of GGU and also enhances its liquidity profile, contributing to the healthy growth of the business.

The Regulation S/Rule 144A senior unsecured US-denominated 7.75 percent green notes, with a 5-year non-call 2 year bullet maturity, are expected to settle on July 30, 2020. The Notes are being issued and sold at par value.

The proceeds of the Notes will be used to re-finance all existing loan arrangements of GGU and to finance capital expenditures in the water supply and sanitation business. The Notes are expected to be listed on the Global Exchange Market of the Irish Stock Exchange and to be rated B+ (stable) by Fitch and B (positive) by S&P.

GGU obtained a Second Party Opinion from Sustainalytics, a leading provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research and analysis, for its Green Bond Framework.

J.P. Morgan acted as Sole Bookrunner, Green Structuring Agent and Development Finance Structuring Agent of the Notes and TBC Capital acted as Co-Manager.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Baker & McKenzie LLP acted as legal advisors to J.P. Morgan and GGU, respectively. The issuance was supported by the long-standing partners and existing lenders of GGU - Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH ("DEG") and the Netherlands Development Finance Company ("FMO"), together with Asian Development Bank ("ADB").

"I also want to thank DEG, FMO and ADB, our long-standing partners, for acting as anchor investors for the Notes," Gilauri said.

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