Air Liquide becomes one of the first European issuers on the “Panda” Chinese bond market

March 7, 2018

Air Liquide successfully completed a first bond issuance on the Chinese mainland market (“Panda”) for an aggregate nominal amount of 2.2 billion Renminbi (approximately 280 million euros), becoming one of the first European companies to issue on this market. Air Liquide was already the first French company to issue bonds in Renminbi on the Hong Kong market (“Dim Sum”) in 2011 and the first international one on the Taiwanese bond market (“Formosa”) in 2015.

This transaction was executed in two series via a private placement to Chinese institutional investors and bears coupons of 5.95% and 6.40% respectively for a 3-year and a 5-year maturity. The 5-year issuance, the longest maturity ever achieved by a European company on the Panda market, reflects the long-term dimension of the Group's activities.

These bonds are being issued by Air Liquide Finance and guaranteed by L’Air Liquide SA, with the following principal characteristics:

  • Nominal amount: 2.2 billion Renminbi, in two series
  • Issuer: Air Liquide Finance
  • Guarantor: L’Air Liquide SA.
  • Terms: 3 and 5 years
  • Format: Fixed rate
  • Coupons (payable annually):
    • 5.95% at 3 years (1,400 million Renminbi)
    • 6.40% at 5 years (800 million Renminbi).

The proceeds of this issue will be used to finance new investments in China and to refinance debt related to previous investments in China. This new financing source contributes to the extension of the Group’s Asian investor base.

Fabienne Lecorvaisier, Executive Vice President, in charge of Finance commented: This inaugural issue in the Chinese mainland market is a success. It is fully consistent with the Group’s intention to diversify its sources of financing on local bond markets and to pursue the development of its activities in China.

Air Liquide in China operates nearly 90 plants and employs more than 4,000 employees today. With a strong presence in the key coastal industrial areas, Air Liquide is now expanding into the center, south and west. Its main business activities include industrial and medical gas operations, Engineering & Construction (designing, manufacturing and installing air separation units/hydrogen facilities), as well as innovation activities.