September 24, 2020

Mayer Brown advises Novartis on ground-breaking sustainability-linked bond offering


London — Global law firm Mayer Brown has advised Novartis AG and Novartis Finance S.A. in connection with an offering of €1.85 billion 0.000% Sustainability-Linked Notes due 2028, for which Barclays Bank PLC, HSBC Bank plc, J.P. Morgan Securities plc and Société Générale acted as joint lead managers and BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft and Mizuho Securities Europe GmbH as co-managers.

The transaction marks the first-ever offering of a sustainability-linked bond in the healthcare sector and the first-ever offering of a sustainability-linked bond incorporating “social” targets, with bondholders entitled to receive a higher amount of interest if Novartis fails to meet its targets for expanding access to its innovative medicines and addressing key global health challenges, two areas where Novartis can drive the greatest value for society. The transaction further marks only the second-ever sustainability-linked bond offering since the publication by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) of its Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles in June 2020.

Earlier this year, the same core Mayer Brown team also advised Novartis AG and Novartis Capital Corporation in connection with a $7 billion short-term (bridge) credit agreement to fund a portion of the purchase price for the acquisition of NASDAQ-listed biopharmaceutical company, The Medicines Company, for $9.7 billion, as well as a $5 billion four-tranche SEC-registered bond offering.

Novartis is a leading global medicines company that uses innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need.

The Mayer Brown team comprised lawyers from the firm’s offices in London and New York and was led by Banking & Finance partner Bernd Bohr (London) and included Banking & Finance partner James Taylor and associate Whitney Joseph (both London) and Tax Transactions & Consulting partner Jared Goldberger (New York).

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