Air Liquide successfully completed a first bond issuance on the Chinese domestic market (Panda) for an aggregate nominal amount of 2.2bn Renminbi (approximately €280m), becoming one of the first European companies to issue on this market.
The Tier One company was already the first French company to issue bonds in Renminbi on the Hong Kong market (Dim Sum) in 2011 and the first international one on the Taiwanese bond market (Formosa) in 2015.
The transaction was executed in two series via a private placement to Chinese Institutional investors and bears coupons of 5.95% and 6.40% respectively for a three and five-year maturity. The five-year issuance, the longest maturity ever achieved by a European company on the Panda market, reflects the long-term dimension of Air Liquide’s activities.
These bonds are being issued by Air Liquide Finance and guaranteed by L’Air Liquide SA.
The proceeds of this issue will be used to finance new investments in China and to refinance debt related to previous investments in China.
Fabienne Lecorvaisier, Executive Vice-President in charge of Finance, commented, “This inaugural issue in the Chinese domestic market is a success. It is fully consistent with the group’s intention to diversify its sources of financing on local bond markets and to pursue the development of its activities in China.”
Air Liquide in China
Air Liquide in China operates nearly 90 plants and employs more than 4,000 employees today. With a strong presence in the key coastal industrial areas, Air Liquide is now expanding into the centre, south and west. Its main business activities include industrial and medical gas operations, Engineering & Construction (designing, manufacturing and installing air separation units/hydrogen facilities), as well as innovation activities.