• The 75-million-euro loan, maturing in July 2024, links its conditions to the impact of the company's sustainability policies
• This funding allows Colonial to complete the restructuring of its outstanding debt from Axiare
• CaixaBank's environmental strategy promotes the use of sustainable funding instruments that contribute to the United Nations’ SDGs
Colonial has signed a sustainable loan agreement with CaixaBank for 75 million euros, maturing in July 2024. The conditions of this kind of loan are linked to recognition of the good impact of the company's sustainability strategy, measured with indicators by independent entities.
The Colonial’s sustainability policy is included within the ESG - environmental, social and governance - strategy that the company is developing as one of its crucial pillars of corporate growth. It also includes the highest standards of Corporate Governance, the development of initiatives in social areas and in talent attraction, as well as an environmental sustainability strategy. In this latter area, Colonial already has environmental certification for its office buildings amounting to 91% of its full portfolio, far higher than the market average.
This clear commitment to ESG has led to the company acquiring significant certifications and qualifications over the last few years. These include the AA rating, one of the best ESG qualifications in Europe, granted by MSCI, and the EPRA GOLD award, received consecutively for the last three years. In March 2019, BREEAM and GRESB recognised the Colonial Group as the number one leader in Europe in terms of responsible investment, with the 'Award for Responsible Real Estate Investment' in the large portfolios category.
In turn, CaixaBank is one of the leading companies in the fight against climate change at a global level, recognised by the international organisation CDP. It is the first bank in the Ibex 35 to completely neutralise its calculated carbon footprint. In 2018, it dedicated nearly $1.5 billion to green loans, and collaborates with the European Investment Bank in financing projects focused on the fight against climate change.
The financial institution has been a pioneer in integrating its environmental strategy into the core business of the bank, with a strong contribution from the Risks department, which has incorporated environmental risk criteria into project evaluations, and the Business department, which looks for opportunities that contribute to climate action. The company continues to decisively contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, with a special focus on Goal 13, Climate action.
The loan signed with CaixaBank allows Colonial to complete the restructuring of its outstanding debt from Axiare, improving margins and cancelling mortgage guarantees. After the signing of this loan, the Group's debt is €4.8 billion, with an average life of more than 5 years and a financial cost of less than 1.7%, whilst total liquidity amounts to €2 billion.
The low leverage of the Group (Loan to Value), of 39%, together with its asset quality, has allowed Colonial to obtain the rating BBB+ by Standard & Poor's, the highest rating in the Spanish real estate sector.
The Colonial Group is a Spanish RAIT listed on the Spanish stock exchange, and the leader in the prime office market in Europe. It is present in the main business areas of Barcelona, Madrid and Paris, with a portfolio of prime offices of more than one million m2, and a value of assets under management of more than €11 billion.
CaixaBank is the leading financial group in retail banking in Spain with 15.6 million customers, and the most significant commercial network on the peninsula, with more than 5,000 branches. Since 2007, it is part of the group of financial institutions associated with the Equator Principles to guarantee that the projects to which it provides funding and advisory are carried out in a socially responsible way. In addition, since 2016 it is on the board of directors of the Spanish Green Growth Group, which fosters economic growth linked to a low-carbon economy.
CaixaBank has also joined the United Nations Environment Programme - Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), which has three main goals: commitment to sustainable development, sustainability management and public awareness. Furthermore, the company is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), a global index that assesses the behaviour of companies according to social, environmental and corporate governance criteria.