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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 April 2013, Linde placed EUR 650 m and USD 500 m of senior notes with respectively 10-year and 5-year maturities. The euro denominated bond, with a coupon of 2.00 %, was priced at 45 basis points over Euro-MidSwaps. The USD bond bears a coupon of 1.50 % and was priced at 67 basis points over USD-MidSwaps. The proceeds from the transaction were used to repay the remaining part of the syndicated loan that Linde arranged to finance the acquisition of US homecare company Lincare Inc in 2012.
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 followed by two further hybrid (subordinated) bonds (EUR 700 m and GBP 250 m) in 2006. The successful issuance of the USD 500 m Eurodollar bond in 2013 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 2018 (plus two options to extend the facility, in each case by one year). It is a syndicated facility which has been arranged with 33 German and international financial institutions and was signed in July 2013. This backstop facility contains no financial covenants.