Central American giant CMI places $700 million in bonds for green projects

Central American giant CMI places $700 million in bonds for green projects

April 29 2021

This is the largest "green bond" placement by a renewable energy company in Central America and the Caribbean to date. It marks the entry of the CMI Energy corporation to the international capital market, with the largest and most diversified private portfolio of 100% renewable energy in the region.

CMI Energy, of the multi-Latin family corporation CMI, based in Guatemala and with presence throughout the region, placed the largest green bond issue of a renewable energy company in Central America and the Caribbean.

Qualified Institutional Buyers highlighted their confidence in renewable energy projects, and in particular in CMI as a key player in the Central American and Caribbean markets, the corporation said in a statement.

The offers were almost five (5) times the size of the issue. They came from global investors: from the United States (56%), Europe (29.4%), Asia (2.3%) and Latin America (12.3%).

Rothchild & Co and Clifford Chance acted as financial and legal advisors, respectively, to CMI, in the transaction.

The green bonds were rated Ba3 by Moody’s, BB- by Fitch Ratings and BB- by Standard & Poor’s (S&P); this is an improvement from previous ratings.

The CMI Energy division is part of CMI Capital of Corporación Multi Inversiones, one of the most important multinationals from Latin America, with 100 years of existence.

In a market with a strong appetite for this type of instrument, the successful placement of these “green bonds” exceeded $700 million, at an interest rate of 6.250%, maturing in 2029. The group also closed a syndicated loan of US $300 million to refinance their entire debt. The successful transaction was executed in the framework of CMI's 100th anniversary celebration.

Many of the investors interested in this issue focus on ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria, which in recent years have become the benchmark for socially responsible investment.

“We are very proud to be the leading private renewable energy company in the region. Our purpose is to create impact investments that promote sustainable development”,  the company said.

“Through the placement of green bonds, we seek to optimize the capital structure of our company and continue with an operation of excellence, continuous growth and the generation of positive impact for the communities where we operate,” Enrique Crespo, CEO of CMI Capital, explained.

The placement of green bonds involves the issuer's commitment to make sustainable investments. In this sense, the action is aligned with CMI Energy's objectives of contributing to the reduction of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, and to decarbonization and diversification of the regional energy network in the countries where it operates. In this way, CMI Energy consolidates its investments in the region, under a solid vision of a sustainable future.

The four eligible categories, covered under the green bonds, which have been aligned to specific SDGs, are:

Renewable Energy: Renewable Energy and Climate Action

Energy Efficiency: Renewable Energy and Climate Action

Green Buildings: Innovation and Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities and Communities

Clean Transportation: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Source: El Estimulo publication