Leonardo and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed a loan agreement for 260 million euros. The “Sustainability-Linked” financing has the purpose of supporting the Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) activities in the fields of helicopter, security, defence electronics and space, as well as the research activities at Leonardo Labs, contributing also to the fight against climate change.
The loan, which has a maximum life of 12 years and a grace period of up to four years, carries a margin adjustment mechanism based on Leonardo’s achievement of specific indicators (KPIs) linked to ESG objectives.
Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO, commented that “This financing will allow Leonardo to contribute to important high-technology investments in helicopters, security, IT infrastructure, commercial electronics, space, and Leonardo Labs, for the development of new cutting-edge technologies. This is the first loan in the A&D sector where the selected ESG targets include a KPI linked to technology, more specifically Leonardo’s increase in computing power per capita, as key enabler and booster in our research, numerical simulation, big data analytics and artificial intelligence. The other KPI is the reduction of CO2 emissions confirming Leonardo’s commitment to contributing to the fight against climate change.”
The loan will allow Leonardo to have access to a long-term financing instrument at more favourable conditions than those offered on both bank and bond markets as well as flexibility in the timing of the drawdown that can take place within the next 15 months.
This is the fourth financing transaction underwritten between the EIB and Leonardo; the first, fully repaid, of 500 million euros, in 2009, was aimed at developing technologically innovative aeronautical components; the second one of 300 million euros in 2018 and the third, for additional 200 million euros in 2020, were aimed at supporting investment projects in four main areas: development of highly innovative products in Helicopters, Cyber Security, Advanced Manufacturing (Industry 4.0) and Investments in cohesion areas.