Debt information

This section illustrates the Group’s solid financial profile, with information on debt structure and financing policy.

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.

Debt structure

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.

On April 30, 2020, Bureau Veritas SA signed an additional liquidity credit line of EUR 500 million, with a one-year maturity and a six-month extension option at Bureau Veritas’ discretion. This new credit line strengthened the Group’s liquidity position, added to the EUR 600 million syndicated credit facility maturing in May 2025, undrawn at December 31, 2020.

Both credit facilities and US Private Placement (USPP) require compliance with certain bank covenants and ratios. At December 31, 2020, the adjusted net financial debt/EBITDA ratio was further reduced to 1.80x (from 1.87x last year) and the EBITDA/consolidated net financial expense ratio was 8.16x. As a precaution against a worsening pandemic, Bureau Veritas obtained a waiver from its banks and USPP noteholders to relax its financial covenants at June 30, 2020, December 31, 2020 and June 30, 2021. As a consequence, the adjusted net financial debt/EBITDA ratio must be lower than 4.5x, 6.25x and 5.5x versus 3.25x previously at the test dates and for USPP only, the EBITDA/consolidated net financial expense ratio must be greater than 5.5x (unchanged), 2x and 3x versus 5.5x previously at the same dates.

At December 31, 2020, 99.8% of Group’s financial debt was fixed rate. The average maturity of the Group’s financial debt was 5.2 years (on the basis of the gross debt adjusted for 2021 maturity for an amount of EUR 500 million refinanced during 2019). The blended average cost of funds over the full year was 2.6% excluding IFRS 16 impact. The blended average cost of funds was 2.4% excluding IFRS 16 impact and early repayment costs over the year 2020 (compared with 2.8% in 2019). Debt is primarily denominated in Euro (76%) and US dollars (21%).

Bond issues

At December 31, 2020, bond issues break down as follows:

In euros millions Maturity Coupon (%) Nominal amount Currency
2014 Jan. 2021 3.125% 500 million EUR
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 December 31, 2020, US Private Placement break down as follows:

In currency millions Maturity Coupon (%) Nominal amount Currency
2017 USPP Sep. 2027
Jul. 2028
Fixed
Fixed
200 million
155 million
USD
USD
2018 USPP Jan. 2029 Fixed 200 million USD
2019 USPP Jan. 2030 Fixed 200 million USD

 

Bank facilities

At December 31, 2020, bank facilities break down as follows:

In currency millions Maturity Drawn amount Available amount Currency
2018 Syndicated Credit Facility May 2025 - 600 million EUR
2020 Credit Facility Apr. 2021 - 500 million EUR
CNY bank financing Sep. 2022 545 million 205 million CNY

 

Financial operation Press Releases

Date Title Press Release
24 Feb 2021 Bureau Veritas links its syndicated credit facility financial terms to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) indicators

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12 Nov. 2019 Bureau Veritas successfully completes a bond issuance:
EUR 500 million non-rated maturity January 2027

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28 Sep. 2018 Bureau Veritas successfully issued
a EUR 500 million non-rated new bond issue maturity January 2025

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4 Sep 2017 Bureau Veritas successfully raises
USD 355 million 10-year USPP

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31 Aug. 2016 Bureau Veritas successfully raises
EUR 700 million through a 7-year and 10-year non-rated new bond issue

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16 Jan. 2014 Bureau Veritas successfully launches a second bond issue

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Prospectus

Date Prospectus
14 Nov. 2019

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2 Oct. 2018

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