Air Liquide Finance (Paris:AI) issued its first SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) labeled bond for a total amount of €500m this week, under its Euro Medium Term Notes (EMTN) Program.

This bond, fully guaranteed by L’Air Liquide SA, was mostly placed with SRI mandated investors and enables the group to access new funding sources. After public and supra-national issuers, Air Liquide becomes the first private company to issue bonds meeting the SRI investors’ criteria.

This transaction, issued at a very competitive interest rate, will contribute to the refinancing of the Gasmedi and LVL Medical acquisitions, two major players in the home healthcare sector in Europe.

The attribution of a rating from the extra-financial rating agency Vigeo allowed the bond qualification as Socially Responsible Investment. Such evaluation relies upon social, environmental and governance attributes of the group’s home healthcare activity, which serves more than 700,000 patients over the world.

The success of this bond issue demonstrates the high level of confidence of European investors in Air Liquide’s solid financial position, rated A – Positive Outlook by Standard & Poor’s.