Waterland Private Equity Investments and a group of three banks comprising Natixis, ABN Amro and Rabobank closed a €500m Equity Bridge Facility linked to ESG targets for Waterland Private Equity Fund VIII (‘WPEF VIII’), the latest fund closed by Waterland with €2.5bn in commitments from world class institutional investors.
This is Waterland’s first ESG Equity Bridge Facility, evidencing its desire to positively contribute to a sustainable future for businesses, society, and the environment.
This Equity Bridge Facility provides WPEF VIII with the flexibility to efficiently manage its investments while matching investors’ capital calls frequency thus ensuring sound management of working capital and liquidity.
The facility is governed by a set of ESG KPIs, one tied to the management company and others reflecting Waterland’s strategy to have portfolio companies strive to have a positive impact on Environment, Social performance, and Governance. In return, WPEF VIII benefits from a reduction in margin on the facility upon meeting those KPIs, reflecting the lenders’ own ESG support and commitment.
“We are delighted to be working again with our partners at Natixis, ABN Amro and Rabobank on an innovative equity bridge with clear ESG KPIs. Sustainability is one of our four investment themes which we introduced in 2008 and with this new facility we aim to make a positive contribution to a sustainable future” said Marc Lutgen, Head of Investor Relations at Waterland.
Marc Denjean, Head of Global Structured Credit & Solutions Europe and Head of Credit Trading Europe at Natixis added: “As a worldwide leader in fund financing solutions, Natixis is delighted to reunite with Waterland for this third collaboration. With this transaction, we are proud to support their engagement to make a positive impact on ESG issues through this fund.”
Julien Duquenne, Co-Head of Green & Sustainable Finance, Origination & Advisory, EMEA, Corporate & Investment Banking at Natixis added: “This initiative is a clear demonstration of how funds finance can leverage well-established standards such as the LMA Sustainability Loan Principles to incentivize improvements of their underlying portfolio companies’ ESG profiles and ultimately their positive environmental and social impact.”
Daphne de Kluis, CEO Commercial Banking at ABN AMRO Bank added: “Waterland is one of the largest private equity firms in The Netherlands, and a longstanding client relationship of ABN AMRO for their banking needs across various funds and in portfolio transactions. We are happy to continue our existing cooperation into Waterland’s latest investment fund, and to see the introduction of ESG as a key topic in their performance KPIs. This is an increasingly common feature of our new subscription finance transactions and we warmly welcome this trend, as ESG and sustainability are core to ABN AMRO’s strategy. We look forward to work with Waterland across all current and future funds, its portfolio companies and to remain one of their key relationship banks going forward.”
Maarten Biermans, Head Sustainable Capital Markets at Rabobank said: “We are rapidly moving towards a world wherein all finance is linked to sustainability in one way or another. When it comes to the integration of ESG in private equity most are unaware that many players in this sector have already actively been involved in precisely doing that for some time. Waterland has a long track record of ESG integration and continues to contribute to the development of the field of responsible investing in private equity. By linking ESG related KPIs to the bridge facility Waterland is taken this another step further. Rabobank was honored to take on the role of structuring and coordinating the ESG KPIs linked to this facility”.