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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 2014, Linde placed EUR 300 m senior notes with a 10-year maturity. The bond, with a coupon of 1.875 %, was priced at 40 basis points over Euro-MidSwaps. The proceeds from the transaction were used to partly refinance the internally funded German pension provisions. With this bond issue 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 2019 (plus an option to extend the facility 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.