M+ Group is the first company in Croatia that issued sustainability-linked bonds valued at HRK 300 million (almost EUR 40 million). It is a Zagreb-based provider of business process and technology outsourcing services with operations in 58 countries, including BiH, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, the United States and Turkey.
Sustainability-linked or ESG bonds (environmental, social and governance) are an innovation in the global markets. In addition to profit, more and more investors are looking for positive business effects on the community in which companies operate. M+ Group is issuing regular reports on sustainability from 2020.
The strategic partners in the green bond issue are Erste&Steiermärkische Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). M+ Group said the other investors include insurance companies and investment funds.
If the sustainability goals are not met, investors will be paid 0.75 percentage points above the nominal 4.25% interest rate
M+ Group has undertaken to reduce its carbon emissions by 25% and increase women’s representation in management teams to 51%. If the sustainability goals are not met, investors will be paid 0.75 percentage points above the nominal 4.25% interest rate.
“People have always been the focus of our business – our employees, clients and their users,” M+ Group CEO Darko Horvat said.
“The social aspect, which includes gender equality and any other equality, is essential to us as a multicultural group and a global player operating in 58 markets from 14 countries and providing services in 32 languages. In addition to the social aspect, there is inevitably an environmental impact, as our growing number of employees affects the environment,” Horvat added.
Over the past five years, M+ Group has made 15 acquisitions
M+ Group said it made 15 acquisitions in the past five years and secured a diversified portfolio of European and global clients: telecoms, financial, technology, energy, logistics and e-commerce companies, as well as companies in the consumer goods sector.
Of note, late last year, the Greek construction and energy giant GEK Terna announced a sale of common sustainability-linked bonds with a target of EUR 300 million.
A few months earlier, Serbia issued EUR 1 billion in its first sale of green bonds in the international market.