The REWE Group is refinancing its €1 billion syndicated loan from 2020, having arranged a creditline aligned with the ISS ESG agency’s ESG rating for the first time in the cooperative group’s history. This ESG/sustainable finance instrument allows the REWE Group to extend its sustainability strategy into the financial sector for the first time. ISS ESG assigned to REWE Group a rating of C+, corresponding to the ‘Prime’ level. The company’s transparency level is rated as ‘very high’. The ISS ESG report states that “sustainable products and services are at the heart of REWE Group’s sustainability strategy, and the company recognizes its responsibility to promote sustainable consumption.”
The €750 million backup line has been signed with ten banks. It has an 18-month maturity with the option to extend for an additional twelve months. UniCredit Bank AG served as the documentation agent, DZ Bank AG as the facility agent and Raiffeisen Bank International AG as the sustainability agent.
“We are proud of this development for two reasons. This is the first time that we have linked a credit line to sustainability factors, including working standards and conditions, the minimization of environmental impact over product life cycles, climate protection, socially and environmentally friendly products and the transparency of customer information. Additionally, we have achieved Prime status in the ESG rating in our first attempt, making us one of the best companies in our sector. This success is an endorsement of our long-standing commitment to sustainability,” says Dr. Christian Mielsch, CFO of REWE Group. He expressed his thanks to the banking consortium for demonstrating a maximum of confidence in REWE Group’s financial strength and strategy. “The refinancing of REWE Group’s backup line follows last year’s increase of liquidity reserves to 2.5 billion euros, enabling the Group to brace itself for future challenges and provide long-term stability and security to employees, customers and business partners alike,” concludes Dr. Mielsch.