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WDP raises €100m through debut green bond

US insurer MetLife backs the firm’s drive for sustainability as sole investor in the privately placed issue.

Belgian logistics REIT WDP has raised €100 million through its first privately placed green bond issue.

The firm has reached an agreement with a single US investor, MetLife Investment Management, the asset management arm of insurer MetLife, to place an 11-year bond with a 2.62 percent coupon. By the end of 2016, MetLife made $9.7 billion in green investments.

The green notes will be used exclusively for the financing and refinancing of eligible green assets of the company. In addition, the issue will extend WDP’s debt maturity profile while funding its growth plans, the firm said.

The issue, aligned with the Green Bond Principles under the supervision of external review provider CICERO, forms part of WDP’s stated aim to become a carbon neutral firm in the medium term.

“WDP’s medium-term goal is to achieve CO2 neutrality in its property portfolio by a variety of measures ranging from energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy installations,” CICERO stated in a report about WDP’s climate-friendly investment plans.

Currently, WDP is expanding its solar energy capacity from 60MWp to 85MWp, with a medium-term goal of reaching 100MWp, CICERO noted.

ABN AMRO acted as sole arranger and green bond advisor on the issue.

“The fact that we can secure long-term financing above 10 years from an internationally renowned investor represents a new milestone in our financing strategy,” said Mickael Van den Hauwe, chief financial officer at WDP.