Pandora Puts Money Where Its Mouth Is Via Sustainability Bonds

MajorsMar 07, 2023

Pandora Puts Money Where Its Mouth Is Via Sustainability Bonds

The performance-based bond terms would give investors a bigger payout if Pandora’s stated sustainability goals are not met in time.

2022_Pandora store.jpg
Pandora is offering a sustainability-linked bond, designed to motivate the jewelry company to reach its stated sustainability goals.
Copenhagen, Denmark—Pandora is offering investors a sustainability-linked bond, risking a bigger payout if it fails to meet its stated “eco-friendly” goals.

The company is selling a €500 million ($531 million) senior unsecured sustainability-linked bond with a five-year maturity.

This performance-based bond is designed to motivate Pandora to reach its stated sustainability goals within that time frame.

When the bond matures in 2028, Pandora will have to pay more to its investors if the goals have not been met.

The first two goals focus on specific emission reductions, both its own emissions and those in its value chain, with deadlines in 2025 and 2030.

As for its own emissions, Pandora said it plans to implement energy-saving measures and expand its use of renewable energy, in part by installing more solar panels at all of its facilities, including retail stores.

Sourcing renewable electricity will be the driving force behind reaching its target, said Pandora.

The third goal is to reach 100 percent use of recycled gold and silver by 2025.

In 2022, Pandora reported using 61 percent recycled gold and silver when crafting its jewelry, up from 54 percent in 2021.

The topic of recycled metals, and where they fit in terms of responsible sourcing, has been a point of discussion for jewelers in recent years.

Sustainable jewelry consultant Christina T. Miller recently held a webinar on recycled gold, delving into areas like its place in responsible sourcing practices and how it’s marketed.

“Because gold is a financial asset and often interchangeable with currency, the demand for newly mined gold is not impacted by the increased use of recycled gold,” said Miller on her website.

 Related stories will be right here … 

The notes will be issued March 10 with a price of 99.46 percent each and a fixed coupon (interest rate payments) of 4.5 percent per year. They will be listed on Euronext Dublin.

The net proceeds from the sale will go toward general corporate purposes and Pandora’s planned refinancing.

The majority of the funds will be used to repay its existing bank loan, said a Pandora spokesperson, leaving its net debt level unchanged.

In its recent full-year results, the company outlined its plans to open a total of 140 to 190 new stores between last year and this year, and expand its lab-grown diamond jewelry line, Diamonds by Pandora.

Pandora said investor demand for the bonds reached heights of €2 billion after a two-day marketing exercise.

“The successful issuance of our first ever Eurobond underpins our strong financial characteristics and marks an important milestone in our journey, allowing us to further diversify our funding structure,” said Pandora Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Anders Boyer.

Two major credit agencies gave the bonds somewhat favorable ratings, Pandora said.

Moody’s gave the bonds a Baa2 rating, which it considers to be “a moderate credit risk,” while Standard & Poor’s rated the bonds at BBB, which it describes as “adequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but more subject to adverse economic conditions.”

Both of these ratings are in line with the issuers’ ratings of Pandora, said the company.

Danske Bank and Nordea served as the joint global coordinators while BNP Paribas, Danske Bank, Morgan Stanley and Nordea were the joint active bookrunners on the transaction. Nordea was also a ratings and sustainability advisor to Pandora.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated post-publication to correct the price of the notes and clarify Pandora's plans to reduce emissions.

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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