By Eleanor Duncan
LONDON, Sept 30 (IFR) – Investors showed up in strength for Volvo Car’s debut green bond, proceeds from which will support its strategy towards more electric cars and a reduction in greenhouse emissions.
Active bookrunners BNP Paribas, ING (B&D) and SEB launched the seven-year fixed rate note at 2.5%, cutting the yield from initial price thoughts of 2.875% area on the back of an over-€2bn order book. Guidance was 2.625% area.
The company, which is owned by Zhejiang Geely Auto Group, kicked off two days of marketing on Monday.
Bankers speaking prior to the deal’s launch said that Volvo’s Ba1/BB+ (negative/stable) ratings put it in a sweet spot of appealing to three groups of potential buyers: investment-grade investors looking for extra yield, high-yield portfolios and dedicated green accounts.
“Volvo is a classic crossover name,” said a banker familiar with the deal.
“It’s the higher end of the non-IG market, and we’re trying to target the IG guys who play in that space who, over the past few years have become not so much tourists, but having holiday homes in [the junk bond] space.”
Volvo laid out its green ambitions in a framework released last week.
The company is aiming to cut its lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions per car by 40% from 2018 to 2025. It also wants 50% of all its sales to be electric cars by 2025. And by 2040, Volvo wants to be completely “climate neutral”.
Funds raised under the framework will be earmarked for the research, development and investments related to electric cars and also to increase manufacturing capacity for batteries.
One high-yield investor said he was ignoring the green label, noting that money is ultimately fungible. He said he was being more cautious around auto credits because of the recent impact of