Värde-owned Vía Célere issues first green bond by a residential developer in the euro market
Vía Célere, a portfolio company of global alternative investment firm Värde Partners, has issued the first green bond by a residential real estate developer in the euro market.
Vía Célere is the largest homebuilder in Spain by units delivered in 2020, with a deep residential land bank in key markets across Iberia.
The five-year EUR300 million 5.25 per cent high yield bond issued at par received strong demand from international investors. It was issued in accordance with the Green Bond Principles, as published by the International Capital Market Association, and reviewed by Sustainalytics, the independent global provider of ESG and corporate governance research and ratings.
The successful bond issue diversifies Vía Célere’s funding sources and supports its growth strategy in the Iberian market. The proceeds will be used, among other things, to fund cash on balance sheet and re-finance existing indebtedness, each in connection with the construction of energy efficient residential buildings in Vía Célere’s portfolio across Iberia. The developments must meet the green bond’s eligibility framework by achieving an Energy Performance Certificate rating in the top 15 per cent of local housing.
“This is an important milestone for Vía Célere and reinforces the company’s commitment to create more sustainable housing, with greater energy efficiency and reduced carbon footprint,” says Tim Mooney, Partner and Global Head of Real Estate at Värde. “Through the lifespan of our investment, we have worked closely with Vía Célere to put in place a robust governance framework, strengthen the management team and enhance the company’s operating model.”
Vía Célere had a strong year in 2020, despite the challenges caused by Covid-19. The company led the Spanish residential market, delivering 1,932 homes, 65 per cent more than in 2019, and has already sold 78 per cent of the units to be delivered in 2021. Some 88 per cent of developments currently under construction have Energy Performance Certificates rated A or B, with buildings emitting 89 per cent less carbon dioxide emissions than the minimum requirement under Spanish regulations. Vía Célere continues to maintain a robust balance sheet with low leverage and high interest coverage.