NEPI Rockcastle obtains a new green loan of €60 million for Ploiesti Shopping City
NEPI Rockcastle, an investor and developer of shopping centres in Central and Eastern Europe, has secured a €60 million green loan for Ploiești Shopping City from a banking syndicate led by BRD Groupe Société Générale.
The financing comes three months after NEPI Rockcastle acquired a 50% stake in Ploiești Shopping City from its partner in a €55.5 million deal. The loan, signed in December 2022, falls into the green financing category, meeting the criteria of making a substantial contribution to climate risk mitigation and benefiting from BREEAM In-Use Excellent rated sustainable certification and Class A energy performance certification.
"Bank financing is an attractive alternative at the moment and NEPI Rockcastle has good and long-standing relationships with its banking partners. Green lending reflects our commitment to improving the sustainability of the group's portfolio and reducing our carbon footprint. As announced, in Romania, the largest market in which NEPI Rockcastle operates, we are in the process of reducing the environmental impact of our portfolio by installing photovoltaic panels, thereby increasing the proportion of renewable energy used," said Eliza Predoiu, Chief Financial Officer, NEPI Rockcastle.
"We are pleased to once again help fund another important project for our long-time partner, NEPI Rockcastle. For us, the project is also important from another perspective: with this deal, we continue to integrate ESG principles into our lending activity, thus completing a longer list that includes the largest green loan ever granted in Romania, and we take another step towards our strategic goal of providing €1 billion in sustainable financing by 2025. We are ready to finance the transition and development of our clients and have the know-how to ensure and implement all sustainability-related parameters in our financing operations," said Maria Rousseva, Deputy CEO of BRD, responsible for the bank's corporate banking activities.
The loan was arranged by BRD Groupe Société Générale - NEPI Rockcastle's long-standing financing partner - which also assumed a role as a green finance structuring bank, with Alpha Bank, a new lender to the group, as a lender. In November 2022, international ratings agency Fitch upgraded the group's credit rating to BBB+ with a stable outlook from BBB with a positive outlook. The rating development reflects the group's progress in the area of operational performance, i.e. increasing property occupancy, traffic and tenant sales during 2022.
NEPI Rockcastle was advised in the financing transaction by international law firm Dentons Europe - Zizzi-Caradja and Associates SPARL, while BRD Groupe Société Générale and Alpha Bank were assisted by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP SCP.
Ploiești Shopping City was inaugurated in 2012, with a leasable area of 46,800 sqm, and tenants include a Carrefour supermarket, a 12-screen cinema and more than 100 stores, including Adidas, H&M, Top Shop, Zara, Leonidas, McDonalds, Starbucks and Taco Bell.