Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, today announced the successful pricing of its issuance of EUR 750 million 0.500% Green Innovation Bonds due 2026.

This inaugural Green Innovation Bond was created by Philips in collaboration with Rabobank as Sustainability Structuring Advisor. The transaction was further supported by the Joint Lead Managers ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ING, Mizuho Securities, MUFG, Rabobank and UBS Investment Bank.

As part of Philips’ commitment to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation, the company has a comprehensive sustainability strategy that includes its products, solutions and business models, energy consumption, supply chains and financial instruments.

In 2017, Philips was one of the first companies to develop a Revolving Credit Facility with an interest rate linked to its sustainability performance.

As a next step, together with Rabobank, the company has now developed the Philips Green & Sustainability Innovation Bond Framework, under which it can issue Green and/or Sustainability Innovation Bonds as a means to finance its sustainability activities. Today’s issuance is the first bond issued under this framework.

“Philips is a pioneer in advancing sustainability in all areas of its business, and issuing this inaugural Green Innovation Bond is a good example of that,” said Abhijit Bhattacharya, CFO of Royal Philips. “The proceeds of this bond will be used as an alternative means to finance our expenditures on green innovation, the transition to the circular economy, and becoming carbon neutral, for which we have set clear targets.”

“Philips and Rabobank are both at the forefront in sustainability and innovation of their respective industries,” said Wiebe Draijer, CEO of Rabobank. “This transaction is another testament of how corporate and financial leaders are moving ahead in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and leaving a better world for generations to come.”

The net proceeds will be allocated to a portfolio of eligible green innovations, which belong to the following categories: expenditures regarding Green Innovation in R&D; expenditures regarding the implementation of circular products and solutions; and/or expenditures under the Group’s ‘Sustainable Operations Programs’, as further described in the Framework.

In the last two years, Philips spent around EUR 230 million annually on Green Innovation. The issue price for the notes due 2026 is 99.494% with a coupon of 0.500%, resulting in a yield of 0.574%.

Settlement and issue of the Notes is scheduled for 22 May 2019. Application has been made for the Notes to be listed on the Official List of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and to trading on the regulated market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Application has also been made for the Notes to be displayed on the Luxembourg Green Exchange.

Philips is committed to a strong investment grade credit rating. Currently, the company has a BBB+ rating (with stable outlook) by Standard & Poor’s, a Baa1 rating (with stable outlook) by Moody’s and an A- rating (with stable outlook) by Fitch.

Green Innovation is the Research & Development spend related to the development of new generations of Green Products and Solutions and Green Technologies. As disclosed in Philips’ Annual Reports, the company spent EUR 233 million and EUR 228 million on Green Innovation in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Source AP News

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