UPL, a global leader in crop protection products and sustainable agricultural solutions, has recently raised the second tranche of US$700 million sustainability linked loan (SSL) with a reduction of interest cost by 35bps and an opportunity for a further reduction of 5bps on achievement of sustainability indicators agreed with the banks. The first tranche of USD750 million was raised in March and April 2021. Of the US$1.45 billion, the debt maturity for USD1.25 billion gets extended by two years to FY 2026 (against FY2024 earlier). The SLL also provides complete pre-payment flexibility.
According to UPL, it is on a mission to reimagine sustainability across everything it does – developing and distributing solutions that secure its future whilst safeguarding the environment. UPL believes that agriculture is an under-appreciated resource and is an integral part of the solution to the climate crisis. The swapping of USD 1.45 billion acquisition loan to SLL with an opportunity to further reduce the interest cost is an example of its focus on sustainability and ESG providing a cost advantage.
In 2021, the company was ranked as the highest performing top tier, global crop protection company amongst its peers by Sustainalytics for the second year running. UPL also recorded strong performances in the most recent Dow Jones Sustainability Index (61% improvement on 2018 score) and FTSE Russell (68% higher than industry average).
Highlighting the development, Jai Shroff, Global Chief Executive Officer of UPL, said, “We are delighted to raise this second tranche of Sustainability linked facility which is not only a reflection of UPL’s sustainability performance but also provides us with an opportunity to engage with new a set of investors. We are transforming our business from a product to a solutions business through our technology platforms – Natural Plant Product (NPP), Nurture.farm and the wide portfolio of differentiated and bio-solution products, and our diverse and expansive product pipeline. Taken together, these agricultural solutions can significantly reduce carbon emissions, mitigate the impact of global warming, and deliver shared prosperity for our people and our planet.”
Anand Vora, Global Chief Financial Officer, UPL, said, “UPL is proud to be one of India’s first companies to draw sustainability linked loan and the largest by an Indian corporate to date. The second tranche was driven by our constant focus on balance sheet management, reduction of interest costs and continued focus on building a sustainable and profitable business.”
UPL is a global provider of sustainable agriculture products and solutions, with annual revenue exceeding USD5 billion. Through OpenAg, UPL is focused on facilitating progress for the entire agricultural value chain. Present in 130 countries, UPL’s portfolio consists of biologicals and traditional crop protection solutions with more than 13,600 registrations.
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