Herbert Smith Freehills has advised easyJet Airline Company Limited in relation to a new undrawn five-year sustainability linked term loan facility of US$1.75 billion underwritten by a syndicate of banks and supported by a partial guarantee from UK Export Finance under their Export Development Guarantee (EDG) scheme.
The EDG helps UK exporters access high value loan facilities for general working capital or capital expenditure purposes. It is managed by UK Export Finance, the UK government’s export credit agency for trade finance and insurance, to provide guarantees to assist with accessing commercial loans.
The new term loan facility replaces easyJet’s existing US$1.77 billion term loan facility and extends easyJet’s debt maturity profile, whilst maintaining available liquidity and reduces the group net financing costs.
A sustainability key performance indicator linked to a reduction in carbon emission intensity in line with easyJet’s SBTi validated target is embedded in the financing cost, where there is a margin adjustment mechanism (upward or downward) conditional to the achievement of specific milestones.
The Herbert Smith Freehills team on was led by finance partners William Breeze and Siva Subramaniam and included partner Kristen Roberts, of counsel Rowena van de Grampel, senior associate Wan Ching Choy, associate Alagammai Murugappan and solicitor Jooahn Choi.
William Breeze commented: “We are delighted to have supported easyJet on this transaction. It speaks to our team’s deep knowledge of the aviation sector and ability to combine that with our extensive expertise advising on financings that form an important part of our clients’ sustainability commitments.”
In 2021, Herbert Smith Freehills advised easyJet on achieving what was at the time a ‘double first‘ – becoming the first airline to secure a loan through UK Export Finance’s EDG scheme and the transaction being the first secured EDG facility to reach financial close.
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