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Wed June 29 2022

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Taxpayers underwrite construction company loan

19 May The government has agreed to underwrite a £50m loan to construction company Mace

UK Export Finance, the government’s export credit agency, is underwriting a loan of £50m that Mace has agreed with the investment bank JP Morgan.

The loan is not tied to any specific export project but  can be used across multiple projects. It includes sustainability targets to incentivise the company to reduce its carbon consumption. Sustainability linked loans (SLLs) – or green loans – are in vogue among major construction companies; Balfour Beatty, Wates and Willmott Dixon have all got them.

Mace has also secured a £10m revolving credit facility with Spanish bank BBVA,

Mace chief financial officer Richard Bienfait said:  “We are delighted to be entering into this agreement with BBVA and JP Morgan, which will support our growth overseas and our important sustainability priorities. Mace is committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to pursue a sustainable world – and this landmark financing arrangement reflects that ambition.”

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International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “I am proud that Mace is generating sustainable profits that will create jobs, support communities overseas and protect the environment. This sustainability-linked loan shows the market this government is leading the world on supporting our transition to green technology.

“We are offering a clear and powerful incentive. If Mace meets or exceed the green targets set, UK Export Finance will charge them less interest and they get a better deal. If they fail to cut emissions by as much as they say, we increase the rates, and they pay more. By putting sustainability at the core of its growth plans Mace is setting a powerful example for others to follow.”

She added: "The financial case for green trade is very clear. The global market for low-carbon exports is growing rapidly. By 2030, it’s projected to be worth almost £2 trillion. A potent combination of ambitious entrepreneurs, high ambitions and steadfast and determined government backing, has put the UK in a leading position to take a first mover advantage here. This translates into some exciting opportunities for us.”

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