CFO Greg Booyens says sustainability-linked funding is a good fit for Emira

Emira Property Fund has raised R805 million in sustainability-linked debt as part of its growing ESG focus.

In what is only the third issue of its kind in the country, Emira Property Fund has raised R805 million in sustainability-linked debt, with reduced margins for achieving pre-set environmental sustainability targets.

The diversified real estate investment trust listed a new unsecured three-year R380 million sustainability-linked bond as part of its domestic multi-term note programme and worked with investors to incorporate sustainability targets into the terms of the note. On this basis, the issue received more demand than could be executed. The oversubscribed issue, arranged by RMB, attracted five investors, and added a new investor to the programme.

Greg Booyens, CFO of Emira, said, “We are excited to work with like-minded funders to drive positive environmental impacts. Sustainability-linked funding is a good fit for Emira, and we are well positioned for the growing focus on ESG-led finance and investment.”

“We have a strong environmental ethos and an established track record of positive impact. This new form of funding ties our environmental performance to our financial performance, and further integrates sustainability targets in every area of our company,” he added.

Emira has also secured a R225 million, four-year facility from Standard Bank and a R200 million, four-year facility from RMB. In seeking to partner with companies that prioritise the natural environment, the agreements set out sustainability targets and timeframes which when achieved, Emira will reward with a lower cost of funding.

Delia Patterson, from RMB’s Syndication and Distribution, said, “Sustainability is becoming a key focus to investors and Emira’s commitment to measurement targets supported the positive result the offer received from the debt capital markets. Investors are further willing to incentivise progress to improving sustainability by an ultimate reduced cost of funding.”

Justin Bowen, national development manager and head of sustainability at Emira, added, “Our comprehensive environmental sustainability strategy and transparent disclosure support Emira’s purpose of being a provider of great real estate. Properties that are energy- and water-efficient, and use more renewable resources, ultimately assist our tenants and our business to contain utility costs and lighten our environmental footprints. We are thrilled to include our funders, as leading actors in sustainable finance, as key role-players in our value chain of positive environmental impacts.”