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Chapman Tripp Reinforces Sustainable Finance Expertise Advising Mercury On Financing Framework

Described ‘as the firm that leads’, Chapman Tripp and Mercury today jointly celebrate New Zealand’s first new retail green bond of 2020, totalling $200 million.

Today’s quotation of Mercury’s MCY030 bonds on the NZX Debt Market marks the completion of New Zealand’s first new retail green bond issue for the year and follows the launch of Mercury’s green financing framework in August.

Geoff Smits, Mercury’s Acting Treasurer said, “Mercury’s Green Financing Framework and inaugural Green Bond are key milestones for Mercury, reflecting Mercury’s desire to promote renewable energy and the positive environmental and economic outcomes of investing in renewable energy assets. We want New Zealand to make the most of its renewable energy advantage, using it to realise a low carbon future for all New Zealanders, including the huge opportunity in transitioning the country’s vehicle fleet to electric and reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels.

“Chapman Tripp’s assistance from deal inception through to execution has been invaluable. Leveraging Chapman Tripp’s knowledge, depth of experience and willingness to go the extra mile resulted in a very smooth process.”

Chapman Tripp’s team advising Mercury was led by Cathryn Barber, Partner and Head of the firm’s National Finance Practice, and Senior Associate and sustainable finance expert, Luke Ford. The firm assisted Mercury to establish its new green financing framework, which can include both bonds and loan facilities, and to issue its inaugural green bonds.

Barber said, “this transaction reflects the growing market for sustainable finance in New Zealand and complements Mercury’s published approach to climate change preparation and integrated reporting.”

The $200 million 7-year bond offer included $50 million in oversubscriptions and priced at a coupon of 1.56% per annum, representing a margin of 1.25% per annum over the underlying swap rate.

“The offer launch, including lodgement of the product disclosure statement, was completed during the most recent Auckland lockdown. Logistical challenges were further increased by the recent cyberattacks on the NZX,” Barber added.

Mercury receives programmatic Climate Bond Standard certification with this milestone.

ANZ acted as Arranger, Joint Lead Manager and Green Bond Co-ordinator, and BNZ, Craigs Investment Partners and Forsyth Barr acted as Joint Lead Managers. DNV GL provided Mercury with green bond verification and Bell Gully provided legal advice to The New Zealand Guardian Trust as bond supervisor.

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