09 December, 2023

CDB Aviation Enters Into Inaugural Sustainability Linked Loan for $625 Million

CDB Aviation has confirmed it has entered into its inaugural Sustainability Linked Loan (“SLL”) on December 1, 2023, anchored with a $625 million syndicated term loan facility.

“This innovative facility marks a landmark transaction for the aviation finance space,” underscored Jie Chen, CDB Aviation’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re thrilled to have leveraged our comprehensive sustainability strategy, with a particular focus on the activities across the Environmental and Social aspects of our operations, to secure this first major sustainability-linked loan syndicated facility among aircraft lessors.”

The SLL parameters of the facility are contingent on the satisfaction of Sustainability Performance Targets (“SPTs”), based on the lessor’s three Key Performance Indicators (“KPIs”), including two strong Environmental and one Social KPIs related to:

reducing the carbon intensity of the CDB Aviation’s fleet, focusing on the most fuel-efficient aircraft;
increasing the share of new generation aircraft in the lessor’s fleet, pursuing its target to reach 60% of new generation aircraft (by number of aircraft) by the end of 2025; and
increasing the level of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DEI”)-related training for the workforce.
Moody’s Investors provided the Second Party Opinion as to the appropriateness of the KPIs and SPTs, confirming the conformity of the facility with the Sustainability Linked Loan Principles (“SLLPs”), with a best-in-class SQS2 rating.

The facility was financed by a group of MLA banks, including: Crรฉdit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, BNP Paribas, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking, China Minsheng Banking Corp., Ltd. Hong Kong Branch, China Guangfa Bank Co., Ltd. Shenzhen Branch and China Construction Bank Corporation London Branch.

Crรฉdit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank acted as Sole Sustainability Agent, as well as Lead Sustainability Structuring Advisor jointly with BNP Paribas and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Natixis acted as Sustainability Structuring Bank. Crรฉdit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank acted as Agent of the facility. Milbank LLP acted as counsel to the lessor, while Allen & Overy LLP (London) acted as counsel to the lenders. JunHe and Matheson acted as PRC and Irish counsel, respectively.

“Delivering on our platform’s ESG vision and responsibilities, this facility advances the sustainability of our business and enhances our ability to contribute to progress in reaching the industry’s net-zero target. We’re committed to being a leader on ESG matters and efforts, managing our impact as a business and maximizing our influence to help drive positive change in the aircraft leasing community,” concluded Chen.

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