Winner: CBC The Central America Bottling Corporation $1.1BN SLB and Exchange
Shortly after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the board of Grupo Mariposa, the
conglomerate that owns Central America Bottling Corporation (CBC), concluded that it was
time to strengthen the company’s ESG commitments. By January 2022, the company had
managed to place a trailblazing bond in international markets that commits the company to
paying a price if it falls short on its sustainability pledges.
CBC’s $1.1 billion sustainability-linked bond, which wins the award for Corporate ESG Deal
of the Year, was a ground-breaking transaction for several reasons.
It was the largest SLB deal ever placed by a Latin American issuer outside of Brazil, according
to Citi. It was also the first SLB offered by a Central American issuer and by a company in the
bottling industry in the Americas.
“Investors showed much interest for the ESG aspect of the bond. I can say that around 30-40%
of the questions we answered in our road show regarded how we are going to meet our ESG
targets,” says Juan Pablo Mata, Grupo Mariposa’s chief executive.
The bond was also a technical success: the 5.25% coupon was the lowest ever paid by CBC in
an international issuance, while the amount is the largest placed by CBC to date. The deal was
2.5 times oversubscribed and, according to Mata, the number of accounts that expressed
interest was a record for issuances performed by the company.
Mata stresses that the 10-year unsecured notes are part of CBC’s ongoing efforts in the ESG
field, as strategies have been developed to improve the company’s governance, enhance the
situation of its workers and to reduce its carbon footprint.
Says Mata: “The bond represents the commitment of the board and our stakeholders to this
principle. We want to be coherent with what we have pledged and be part of the solution.”
In the case of the $1.1 billion SLB, CBC introduced two targets linked to investments made by
the firm to reduce its carbon footprint. Emissions must be reduced by 28%, compared to 2019,
until 2025. By that same year, the company must have 8 out of 16 plants certified as Zero
Waste to Landfill by Carbon Trust, an environmental consultancy.
If one of the targets is not met, 12.5bps are added to the coupon. If the company fails on both
of them, the bond will end up paying investors a 5.50% rate.
Mata says that investments are being made to achieve its ESG goals, and that the company may
come back to capital markets in the future to raise finance for them. Half of CBC’s CAPEX investments today are already linked to the company’s ESG objectives.
“Meeting ESG commitments, especially in the energy field, is like a diet. It is easy to shed the
first few pounds, but when it is necessary to lose more weight and improve one’s fitness, more
effort is required,” says Mata. LF
Global Coordinators, Joint Bookrunners, Sustainability Structuring Agents:
Citi; J.P. Morgan
Issuer’s Legal Advisor: Hogan Lovells
Underwriters’ Legal Advisor: Shearman & Sterling
All supporting financial institutions and law firms were transmitted to LatinFinance by the
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