UK student digs specialist Unite Students has signed a £450 mln (€525 mln) sustainability-linked unsecured revolving credit facility (RCF) from HSBC, NatWest and Royal Bank of Canada.
The facility has an initial term of three and a half years, which may be extended by a maximum of a further two years at Unite’s request, subject to lender consent.
The RCF incorporates three sustainability-linked performance targets based on supporting the group’s transition to net zero carbon by 2030, attaining improvements in the EPC ratings of properties in England and Wales and contributing to social initiatives.
The RCF is the group's first sustainability-linked loan, with future loans by the group expected to include similar sustainability-linked features.
The RCF is available for general corporate purposes and is an amendment and extension of the group's existing bank debt facilities, which were due to mature in November 2022. The refinancing extends the Group’s earliest debt maturity to 2025 and increases its weighted average debt maturity by 0.3 years to 5.0 years.
Joe Lister, Chief Financial Officer of Unite Students, commented: 'Our first sustainability-linked loan is a significant milestone for our sustainability strategy. We have clear objectives to become a net zero carbon business by 2030, while delivering a positive social impact through our work with our employees, students and local communities. The performance targets further incentivise the Group to accelerate decarbonisation and improvements in energy efficiency and underline our growing commitment to social initiatives.'