Premier Inn owner Whitbread has announced the successful pricing of two green bonds, the extension of its revolving credit facility and its intention to repay private placement notes.
The group said the refinancing "maintains the group's strong balance sheet and financial flexibility, while at the same time extending the maturity of its debt".
The impact on the group's combined gross debt and available facilities due to the £550m new green bonds is largely offset by a step down in the revolving credit facility of £225m in September 2022, and the proposed repayment of approximately £284m of private placement notes.
Whitbread has today priced the issue of £300m 2.375% green bonds due May 2027 and £250m 3% green bonds due May 2031.
Whitbread has also reached an agreement with its banks to extend the final maturity date of its revolving credit facility from September 2022 to September 2023. The facility size, which is currently £950m, will step down to £850m at 29 December 2021 and to £725m at 7 September 2022.
The group has approximately £284m of private placement notes that mature in 2021, 2022 and 2027. The group intends to repay the 2021 and 2022 notes (£25m and $93.5m respectively) on their scheduled maturity dates of 6 September 2021 and 26 January 2022, and to repay the other notes (£200m) in the "near future".
Nicholas Cadbury, group finance director (pictured), said: "We thank our new bond investors and our relationship banks for their strong support for the group.
"We are particularly pleased that we have been able to reinforce Whitbread's long-term commitment to sustainability by establishing this green bond framework and issuing these green bonds. Whitbread is committed to being a force for good for all our stakeholders, including our people, customers, suppliers, in the communities in which we operate, and for the wider world around us.
"The refinancing announced today demonstrates the strength of our underlying business, and is another key step in ensuring that we emerge from the crisis as a leaner, stronger and more resilient business."