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31/05/2016

When London Black Cabs Go Green

Societe Generale supports Zhejiang Geely on the first offshore green bond issuance in Chinese auto industry. Proceeds of the bond will be used for funding zero-emission capable cabs.

Societe Generale acted as one of the joint global coordinators, joint bookrunners and joint lead managers on the USD 400 million green bond issuance for Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. This transaction is the first credit-enhanced green bond offering from a global auto company, as well as the second corporate green bond out of China. Last year, Societe Generale acted as one of the joint global coordinators and active joint bookrunners on the USD 300 million 3-year bond issuance for Xinjiang Goldwind, the first- ever green bond in China.

The proceeds from Geely’s green-bond sale will be used to finance or refinance projects that enable the design, development and production of zero-emission capable vehicles by Geely’s UK subsidiary London Taxi Company, manufacturer of the iconic London Black Cab.

“This Green Bond is an important milestone in the history of the London Taxi Company that we can all be proud to have contributed towards”, said Peter Johansen, CEO of the London Taxi Company.

The London Taxi Company plans to launch the TX5 taxi in the UK by end of 2017, it is reported that the factory will be able to produce 36,000 electric cabs a year. The new vehicles will be powered by zero-emission electric motors and in time for the deadline of 1 Jan 2018, when London will require all new taxis to be zero-emission capable.

The green bond benefits from a standby letter of credit issued by Bank of China’s London Branch. The bond also complies with the 2015 Green Bond Principles and received a positive opinion from Deloitte.

“I was delighted with the results of the Green Bond issue,” said Peter Johansen, CEO of the London Taxi Company. “This Green Bond is an important milestone in the history of the London Taxi Company that we can all be proud to have contributed towards,” he added.

Geely’s green bond issuance will not only finance the production of environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient vehicles, it will also create hundreds more jobs. This is another good example of Societe Generale’s contribution to the local development through supporting project which casts positive impacts on the environment, economy, people and local community.

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Hangzhou in China, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is a global company with operations spanning the automotive value chain, from research, development and design to production, sales and servicing. It comprises China’s leading non state-owned car manufacturer Geely Automobile Holdings Limited, as well as Volvo Car Group and the London Taxi Company. The Group, which sold over one million vehicles in 2015, has been recognized as a Fortune 500 company for four consecutive years.