This section illustrates the Group’s solid financial profile, with information on debt structure and financing policy.
Bureau Veritas has access to well-diversified sources of financing including bond issues, US Private Placements and bank loans with a balanced maturity profile.
The Group has the policy to finance its assets in the concerned currencies allowing a natural hedge of currency risk. Currency swaps are used to hedge subsidiaries’ cash surpluses and requirements in other currencies.
The Group monitors interest rate exposure so that less than 60% of its consolidated net debt can be exposed to a rise in interest rates. The Group may enter into hedging instruments for this purpose. No financial instruments are contracted for speculative purposes.
On May 17, 2018, Bureau Veritas SA signed a EUR 600 million multicurrency Revolving Credit Facility. This syndicated credit facility has a five-year maturity, with 2 one-year extension options, exercised in 2019 and 2020.
Given the financial strength of the Group, Bureau Veritas allowed the one-year EUR 500 million credit line, put in place in April 2020 during the pandemic, to expire in April 2021
The Revolving Credit Facility and US Private Placement (USPP) require compliance with certain bank covenants and ratios. At June 30, 2021, the adjusted net financial debt/EBITDA ratio was further reduced to 1.30x (from 2.00x last year) and the EBITDA/consolidated net financial expense ratio was 13.13x. As a precaution against a worsening pandemic, Bureau Veritas obtained a waiver from its banks and US Private Placement noteholders to relax its financial covenants at June 30, 2020, December 31, 2020 and June 30, 2021. In May 2021, Bureau Veritas exited early from the amendment negotiated with the USPP holders, allowing a return to the initial banking ratios. As a result, as of June 30, 2021, the ratio of adjusted net financial debt to EBITDA must be less than 3.5x and, only for the US Private Placement, the ratio of EBITDA to consolidated net financial expense must be greater than 5.5x.
At June 30, 2021, 99.8% of Group’s financial debt was fixed rate. The average maturity of the Group’s financial debt was 4.8 years. The blended average cost of funds over the half year was 2.4% excluding IFRS 16 impact (compared with 3.0% in the first half of 2020 excluding the impact of IFRS 16). Debt is primarily denominated in Euro (71%) and US dollars (26%).
At June 30, 2021, bond issues break down as follows:
|In euros millions||Maturity||Coupon (%)||Nominal amount||Currency|
|2016||Sep. 2023||1.250%||500 million||EUR|
|2016||Sep. 2026||2.000%||200 million||EUR|
|2018||Jan. 2025||1.875%||500 million||EUR|
|2019||Jan. 2027||1.125%||500 million||EUR|
US private Placements
At June 30, 2021, US Private Placement break down as follows:
|In currency millions||Maturity||Coupon (%)||Nominal amount||Currency|
|2017 USPP||Sep. 2027
|2018 USPP||Jan. 2029||Fixed||200 million||USD|
|2019 USPP||Jan. 2030||Fixed||200 million||USD|
At June 30, 2021, bank facilities break down as follows:
|In currency millions||Maturity||Drawn amount||Available amount||Currency|
|2018 Syndicated Credit Facility||May 2025||-||600 million||EUR|
|CNY bank financing||Sep. 2022||545 million||205 million||CNY|
Financial operation Press Releases
|24 Feb 2021||Bureau Veritas links its syndicated credit facility financial terms to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) indicators|
|12 Nov. 2019||Bureau Veritas successfully completes a bond issuance:
EUR 500 million non-rated maturity January 2027
|28 Sep. 2018||Bureau Veritas successfully issued
a EUR 500 million non-rated new bond issue maturity January 2025
|4 Sep 2017||Bureau Veritas successfully raises
USD 355 million 10-year USPP
|31 Aug. 2016||Bureau Veritas successfully raises
EUR 700 million through a 7-year and 10-year non-rated new bond issue
|16 Jan. 2014||Bureau Veritas successfully launches a second bond issue|
|14 Nov. 2019|
|2 Oct. 2018|