Crédit Agricole backs Gecina with €100m sustainable loan

The French REIT sources its second debt facility to be indexed on its GRESB rating.

French REIT Gecina has signed its second loan to be priced in relation to sustainability performance rated by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark in little less than three months.

The €100 million sustainable improvement loan has been provided by Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and will be used by the company for “general corporate purposes”.

The margin of the seven-and-a-half-year loan, depends, among other metrics, on Gecina’s environmental, social and governance performance, measured by Amsterdam-based GRESB, an industry-driven organisation that assesses the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios.

In April, Gecina secured the first commercial real estate debt facility to be indexed on its GRESB rating. The debut €150 million loan was provided by ING Real Estate Finance. The margin of the seven-year revolving credit facility was undisclosed, but Real Estate Capital understands this type of loan is priced at over 100 basis points.

“We can obtain margin discounts depending on our GRESB score, but we could also be penalised with an increase in margin if we underperform. This way, we can find motivation to improve our score,” Gecina’s chief financial officer, Nicolas Dutreuil, told Real Estate Capital at the time.

“But this is also a matter of conviction. We want to show our investors we are not only engaged with ESG in the portfolio asset management, but also on the liability side of the balance sheet,” he added.

With a score of 93/100, Gecina ranks fourth among office REITs globally and first in Europe, according to GRESB, which benchmarks the firm’s performance against its peers through a package of ESG indicators.