Wallenius Wilhelmsen signs USD 800 million of new loans secured by 20 vessels. “We are happy to close the flagship facilities with our banks at attractive pricing linked to our emission reductions”, says Torbjørn Wist, CFO at Wallenius Wilhelmsen. Wist says the new loans showcase the company’s commitment to its target of reducing CO2-intensity by 27.5 percent from 2019 to 2030.
The flagship facilities consist of two new financing agreements, with tenors ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 years and were signed with 11 banks on June 30th. On August 15th, USD 670 million was drawn down, mainly to repay USD 569 million of existing vessel debt. The remaining USD 130 million is available as a revolving credit line and can be used for general corporate purposes.
The financings are issued under Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s sustainability-linked financing framework. Interest margins will be adjusted on an annual basis. If the company achieves the interim CO2-intensity target, the margin will reduce -0.05 percentage points for the next year. If the company does not achieve the target the margin will increase +0.05 percentage points for the next year.
The company’s CO2e-intensity was reduced 33.6 percent from 2008 to 2019 and shall be reduced a further 27.5 percent from 2019 to 2030. “We are working to cut emissions systematically through a wide range of operational, technical and asset replacement initiatives. Some of these produce an effect on the shorter term, while the benefit of others will be realized over the 30-year lifetime of vessels. In short, we need to drive energy efficiency both day-to-day and over the long term”, says Wist.
The agreements are secured by 20 sailing vessels with an average age of 12 years and a market value of USD 1.4 billion. As part of the transaction, five older vessels become debt free, increasing the company’s unencumbered fleet to 12 vessels.
“The new financings allow us to extend debt maturities, stretch repayment profiles and build financing capacity for future investment needs”, says Wist.