Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, maker of beer brands Budweiser and Stella Artois, has signed a $10.1 billion debt facility that costs more to service if the company falls short on a set of sustainability targets.
It’s the largest ever ESG-linked loan, narrowly toppling a record set by Royal Dutch Shell Plc with a $10 billion transaction in late 2019. The deal also makes the Belgian brewer the biggest user of sustainability-linked loans, a category that barely existed before 2017.
The new revolving credit facility replaces an earlier financing line and ties interest margins to meeting goals on water efficiency, recycled packaging, renewable energy use and emissions, the company said on Thursday.
It also nearly doubles the global tally of environmental, social, and governance loans for this year, which at $12 billion was already 71% ahead of the same period in 2020. Annual sales have surpassed $100 billion since 2019.
Recent high profile corporate sustainability-linked loan deals include a facility for Italian high-end fashion house Prada SpA earlier this month that linked margins to recycling and self-produced energy.
AB InBev has set credit market benchmarks before. Five years ago it sold Europe’s biggest-ever corporate bond, a 13.25 billion-euro ($16 billion) offering of notes across six maturities to fund its purchase of SABMiller.
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