Russian Federation aluminium titan U. C. Rusal’s US$1.085-billion sustainability-linked finance deal was adjudged the “Russian commodities finance deal of the year” by the TXF in its “Perfect 10 Deals of the Year” of 2020 earlier this week.
The award is the product of a strict voting process choosing from among a large database of export projects, and commodity finance markets. Editors of the periodical presented what they considered to be the most innovative and influencing transactions and compiled over 2,000 votes to choose the winner in each category.
Rusal’s deal is the first-ever sustainability-linked syndicated facility arranged by both foreign and domestic banks for the Russian market. The five-year deal meshes a pre-export finance structure with a sustainability-linked feature, incorporating key performance indicators (KPI) involving the reduction of carbon and fluoride emissions. Also factoring into the deal are the sales of the firm’s low-carbon aluminium brand ALLOW.
“Rusal is a worthy winner of the TXF Russian Commodities Finance Deal of the Year Award with its sustainability-linked $1.085 billion pre-export financing,” opined TXF Editor-In-Chief and Director Jonathan Bell. “Rusal is obviously making great strides to clean up the smelting sector, and is also now the leading producer of so-called ‘green aluminium’ i.e. produced with hydro-powered electricity. But beyond this, Rusal is also committed to further carbon reduction with mass tree planting and the cleaning up of towns where smelters are sited. These are major changes and it is commendable.”
“Winning a TXF Award is a big achievement for the Company as it serves as an additional proof that extensive sustainability efforts of Rusal are recognised and praised by international business and finance community,” explained Rusal’s Director for Strategy, Business Development and Financial Market Oleg Mukhamedshin. “Being one of the pioneers of green aluminium production with our low-carbon aluminium brand ALLOW shows how important this issue is and we are glad to observe how the ESG principles are becoming vital for the banking community when making investment decisions. We will continue to implement our efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of our aluminium production.”
Coordinating Bookrunning Mandated Lead Arrangers of the facility were ING Bank and Natixis. Initial Bookrunning Mandated Lead Arrangers were Bank of China, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, Societe Generale and UniCredit S.p.A. The Bookrunning Mandated Lead Arranger was Sberbank of Russia, while RCB Bank LTD served as the Initial Mandated Lead Arranger. Mandated Lead Arrangers were Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Ireland Plc and Bank ZENIT (Public Joint Stock Company), and the Lead Arranger was Raiffeisen Bank International AG. Sustainability Coordinaters are Societe Generale and Natixis.