Social bond of the year, corporate - Danone

Channels: Green Bonds

Companies: Danone, Moody's, S&P Global, Crédit Agricole CIB, Natixis, Vigeo Eiris

People: Cécile Cabanis

Deal highlights:

Issuer: Danone

Size: €300 million

Maturity: March 2025

Coupon: 1%

Use of proceeds: Responsible farming and agriculture, research & innovation for advanced medical nutrition, social inclusiveness, entrepreneurship financing, quality healthcare and parental support

Credit rating: Baa1/BBB+ Moody's/S&P Global

Lead manager: Crédit Agricole CIB and Natixis

Other highlights/ notable features: First social bond issued by a multinational aligned with the SBPs

French food and drink manufacturing giant Danone issued its inaugural social bond, raising €300 million ($368.5 million).

It was the first bond issued by a multinational company to be aligned with the Social Bond Principles, as issued in June 2017 by the International Capital Market Association. The seven-year deal offers a 1% annual coupon and is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange.

The bond – rated Baa1 and BBB+ by Moody's and S&P Global, respectively – attracted significant demand from ESG investors. One of the awards judges praised Danone's social issuance for its robust and transparent framework in regards to the use of proceeds.

The proceeds will be used to finance and refinance projects promoting positive social impact by supporting research and innovation for advanced medical nutrition (40%), social inclusiveness (25%), responsible farming and agriculture (20%), entrepreneurship financing (10%) and quality healthcare and parental control (5%).

"By issuing this social bond, Danone has made another step in leading the way in creating and sharing sustainable value for all stakeholders," said Cécile Cabanis, Danone's chief financial officer. "Creating impact on our ecosystem is a key enabler to drive sustainable value."

Vigeo Eiris said the framework positively impacts several of the Sustainable Development Goals.