Apical Group, a leading agri-business processor of palm oil and member of the RGE group of companies, has secured a US$750 million sustainability-linked loan from a syndicate of lenders. First Abu Dhabi Bank is the Mandate Lead Arranger Bank and Facility Agent for the loan. This is a first for Apical, and one of a few within the palm oil industry, where borrowing is tied to sustainability targets and performance.
The loan, issued to Apical’s units Apical Middle East and AAA Oils & Fats Pte Ltd, is structured as a two-year revolving credit and four-year term loan facilities. Under the facilities, Apical is committed to meeting improvement targets for a range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics, as assessed by Environmental Resources Management, a London-headquartered global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk and social issues consulting services.
Fawaz Abusneineh, Acting Head of Global Corporate Finance, First Abu Dhabi Bank, commented, “We congratulate Apical on this achievement. ESG is an increasing focus for borrowers and investors globally and it reflects very highly on Apical being amongst the first names in Asia, and companies in its industry sector, to embrace this. I am confident that such forward-thinking commitment to achieving its sustainability goals will position Apical advantageously for the future.”
The targets are based on Apical’s commitment to ensure a sustainable supply chain. Performance against the pre-determined targets will be assessed on an annual basis for the loan period, and incentives awarded accordingly. The loan will be used to finance working capital and capital expenditure requirements of Apical Group.
Apical’s Executive Director, Pratheepan Karunagaran, said, “This is a milestone for Apical and a testament to the commitment and confidence we have in our ESG performance. The spirit of continuous improvement is deeply rooted in our corporate culture and we are motivated to perform even better to deliver against the loan targets set. We are grateful for the enthusiasm of our financiers and hope that our success will serve as a catalyst in further developing sustainability-linked financing in the sector.”
The loan facilities received overwhelming demand with participation from 22 banks in nine countries. Among the Mandate Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners are First Abu Dhabi Bank, E.Sun Commercial Bank, Ltd, Mega International Commercial Bank Co., Ltd, MUFG Bank, Ltd, Bank Sinopac, and Taishin International Bank Co., Ltd.