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26 April 20223 minute read

DLA Piper advises VARTA AG on ESG “Schuldschein” loan of EUR250 million

DLA Piper has advised VARTA AG on the issuance of promissory note loans (Schuldscheindarlehen) totaling EUR250 million arranged by BayernLB, HSBC and UniCredit. The four tranches of the promissory note have a term of five or seven years (3/4 of the loan volume) with most of the loans carrying a fixed interest coupon. The loan proceeds are available to VARTA AG for its general financing needs. The initial average coupon is 1.44%.

The transaction was linked to VARTA AG's ESG rating by Morningstar Sustainalytics, a leading independent company in the field of research, rating and analysis of ESG and corporate governance. Depending on the change in VARTA's rating, the spread of the promissory note may change.

VARTA´s plan is to use the loan funds to expand their lithium-ion business. One focus will be on building up production capacity for the large format round cell. In addition, the capacities of the small-format cells will be further expanded.

The VARTA AG Group currently employs almost 4,800 people. With five production and manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia, as well as distribution centers in Asia, Europe and the USA, VARTA AG's operating subsidiaries are currently active in over 75 countries worldwide.

The DLA Piper team was jointly led by partner Dr. Roland Maaß (Corporate) and counsel Robert Hofbauer and also included counsel Martin Wilmsen (both Finance & Projects) and of counsel Martin Heinsius (Tax, all Frankfurt).

Julia Weber (VARTA AG, Head of Legal & Compliance) acted as in-house lawyer on this promissory loan refinancing.