Orange launches €500 million inaugural Sustainability Bond
In line with the objectives of its Engage 2025 strategy, Orange has launched its inaugural Sustainability Bond to finance a wave of new projects.
At €500 million, the issuance will see 40% of proceeds channelled into digital and social inclusion projects and 60% into energy efficiency and circular economy projects. The bond has a maturity of nine years and an annual coupon of 0.125%.
Ramon Fernandez, deputy CEO and executive director finance, performance and development, said: “This transaction illustrates Orange’s strong commitment towards social and environmental responsibility. I am very proud that Orange enters the sustainability bonds market and that our inaugural issue has attracted significant interest from socially responsible investors. As the Covid-19 crisis highlighted the essential nature of telecommunications, we feel necessary to drive our business with the objective to contribute to a more sustainable and fair world”.
Orange Group’s five-year strategic plan Engage 2025 was unveiled in December and outlined how the company aims to “reinvent” the operator model. In January this saw the announcement of fibre and tower cos in Europe to support future broadband deployments through fibre and 5G.
Elizabeth Tchoungui, excecutive director of CSR, diversity and philanthropy added: “I am so delighted to have joined Orange and to be involved in this significant medium to support our commitment towards digital and social inclusion, as well as environment. We aim to mobilise all of our stakeholders around our sustainable and collective objectives stated in our Engage 2025 strategic plan”.
Still an emerging asset class sustainability bonds have experienced heightened appeal in the last two years. In August, as part of a $10 billion debt offering, Alphabet issued $5.75 billion in sustainability bonds – the largest ever recorded.
Orange’s issue was more than five times oversubscribed and the operator said it was met with “great success” from French and international socially responsible investors.