Socially Responsible Investment unsecured fixed rate notes - Air Liquide


Air Liquide is the first corporate ever to issue a Socially Responsible Investment bond. On this occasion, a special focus on the social and environmental performance of Air Liquide's Home Healthcare activity has been specifically designed for investors with SRI mandates, evidenced by the attribution of a rating by Vigéo.

With interests 6.6 times covering the nominal amount, the deal is a large success. Proceeds from this new bond will be used to refinance the growth of Air Liquide Home Healthcare division, where Air Liquide has recently completed two acquisitions (LVL Medical and Gasmedi).


The transaction came inside initial price thoughts:

  • Initial price thoughts: MS+60bp area +/- 3bp to be priced within the range, benchmark size
  • Final pricing: MS+57bp implying a 5bp new issue concession over the interpolated curve

The trade gathered EUR 3.3bn of interests through 229 accounts with more than 80% of buy and hold investors,
The notes were broadly distributed with France, Germany/Austria and UK/Ireland getting 29%, 25% and 20% respectively,
More than 50% of the orders were sourced from of investors holding SRI mandates.

Bookbuilding and spread discovery:
The day before, Air Liquide held a roadshow in Paris while other investors attended the meeting via a conference call
A go/no-go was held at 9:15AM CET during which the issuer decided to move ahead with its new transaction despite a slightly softer markets opening
At 9:45AM CET the orderbook opened for a benchmark-size trade at MS+60bp area +/-3bp with the indication "to be priced within the range"
10 minutes after opening, the deal was already covered with more than EUR 500m of interests. The orderbook steadily grew up to EUR 3.3bn and closed at 11:00AM CET.
Thanks to this strong appetite from investor, Air Liquide was able to price the new bond at the tight end of the range at MS+57bp, which equated to 5bp over Air Liquide's interpolated curve