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Conservative and diversified financing strategy
Linde has a broad range of financing tools at its disposal to take advantage of the international capital markets i.e. a syndicated credit facility, senior and subordinated bonds, a Medium-Term-Note Programme and a Euro Commercial Paper Programme. Capital market financing plays a central role in the funding strategy of the Group.
In May 2012, Linde issued a new EUR 500 m bond under the EUR 10 bn Medium-Term-Note Programme. The seven-year bond has a fixed interest coupon of 1.75% and the proceeds were used for general corporate purposes. In September 2012, Linde returned to the market to issue an eight-year EUR 1 bn bond with a coupon of 1.75% and a five-year NOK 2 bn bond with a coupon of 2.75%. The proceeds from both transactions were used to partly redeem the syndicated loan that Linde arranged to finance the acquisition of US homecare company Lincare.
With these bond issues Linde has raised long-term funds at record low interest rate levels and further extended the maturity profile of its financial debt.
In addition to benchmark bond issues, Linde has always complemented its capital market activities by opportunistic Medium-Term-Note funding and tapping new capital markets. In 2003, Linde was the first non-financial company to place a hybrid (subordinated) bond with institutional investors (EUR 400 m) followed by two further hybrid (subordinated) bonds (EUR 700 m and GBP 250 m) in 2006. The successful issuance of an USD 400 m Eurodollar bond in 2009 demonstrates the appreciation of the Linde credit by a wide range of national and international investors.
Safeguarding the Group´s liquidity situation
The liquidity of the Group is guaranteed by a currently undrawn EUR 2.5 bn revolving credit facility maturing in 2015. It is a syndicated facility which has been arranged with 25 national and international financial institutions and was signed in May 2010. This backstop facility contains no financial covenants.