Groupe Gorgé successfully secures its first sustainability-linked corporate credit of €145 million to optimise its financing

Published on March 24, 2021 – News

Groupe Gorgé finalised today the reorganisation of a large part of its financing by subscribing to its first sustainability-linked syndicated corporate credit, for a total amount of €145 million, with the group’s banking partners and some long-term debt investors. It comprises a confirmed portion of €120 million with an average maturity of 5 years and an unconfirmed portion of €25 million dedicated to external growth. These additional loans will enable the group to seize new opportunities to strengthen its position in its existing activities. No other diversification is planned at this time.

This transaction follows the merger of ECA into Groupe Gorgé and materializes the acceleration of the Group’s ESG strategy since 2018, rewarded in 2020 by a +13 points improvement in the Gaïa rating.

The confirmed portion of €120 million breaks down into three parts: a first part of €42.5 million to be amortized over 5 years, a second part of €42.5 million broken down into €24.5 million over 6 years and €18 million over 7 years with private investors and a third part of Revolving Credit Facility of €35 million. The implementation of this credit enables the refinancing of €46 million of existing debt as of 31 December 2020 (including €9 million of State Guaranteed Loans), the refinancing of the simplified tender offer for ECA in 2020 and the consolidation and renewal of the RCF lines over 5 years.

Groupe Gorgé’s level of net debt (€30.6 million as of 31 December 2020) and the gearing ratio (0.2 times the book equity as of 31 December 2020) give the group considerable leeway to finance its strategy.

The margin grid depends on two elements: on the one hand the level of debt (Net debt / EBITDA) and on the other hand the achievement of certain ESG objectives, measured by indicators that will be defined in partnership with the lenders in 2021. These criteria will be in line with the group’s ESG strategy, which is continuously pursuing its efforts in the three areas of environment, social and governance.

With this corporate financing, Groupe Gorgé strengthens its balance sheet at very competitive conditions, diversifies its sources of financing and extends the maturity of its debt. This transaction demonstrates the company’s excellent financial health and the support of its banking partners. The syndicate is composed of BNP Paribas (mandated arranger, coordinator, agent and lender), LCL (mandated arranger, ESG financial advisor and lender), BRED (arranger and lender) and CIC (arranger and lender).

DEGROOF PETERCAM Investment Banking acted as financial advisor to the company and DE PARDIEU BROCAS MAFFEI as legal advisor to Groupe Gorgé.

Over the past few months, Groupe Gorgé has simplified its structure following the merger with ECA, achieved major commercial successes, and put in place a solid financial framework.