The Chinese automaker wants to make the London Taxi Company greener.

Geely and its subsidiary, the London Taxi Company, raised $400 million by selling a green bond to fund bringing the TX5 (above) plug-in hybrid cab to the road. The next-generation of London’s famous black cab should starting ferrying passengers in 2017.

Geely says some of the cash will go into its 300 million pound ($435 million at current exchange rates) investment for a new research and production facility for the London Taxi Company. The money will also fund the development and production of other future vehicles. According to the Chinese automaker, the London Taxi Company will introduce “several zero-emission model concepts” in the coming years, including light commercial vehicles.

The London Taxi Company unveiled the TX5’s design in London in October 2015. It looks practically identical to the classic black cab, but the modern powertrain largely remains a mystery, especially the hybrid system’s capability. For now, Geely only says the batteries can run the vehicle for an “extended period.”

Geely and the London Taxi Company’s next step will be getting the TX5 on the road. According to Bloomberg, the automakers will begin work on a prototype version in the next two weeks. With so little time before a planned launch in the fourth quarter of 2017, the companies will have to work hard to have the vehicle ready on schedule.

Companies like Geely use green bonds to offer investors a way to put money into environmentally friendly projects. The Chinese automaker’s venture proved extremely popular, too. The company claimed it could have raised over $2.3 billion based on the number of buyers that registered interest in the enterprise.

Source: Geely, Bloomberg

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ZHEJIANG GEELY HOLDING GROUP RAISES US$400 MILLION IN CHINESE AUTO INDUSTRY’S FIRST EVER OFFSHORE GREEN BOND ISSUANCE

20th May 2016, Hangzhou – Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (“ZGH” or the “Group”) priced the first-ever Green Bond on the offshore market from a Chinese automobile company, raising US$400m to support the development of zero-emission capable vehicles by its UK subsidiary, the London Taxi Company (“LTC”), manufacturer of the iconic London Black Cab.

The senior unsecured bonds, issued through ZGH’s wholly-owned subsidiary LTC GB Limited, carry a fixed interest rate of 2.75% per annum with a tenor of five years, which is the lowest coupon ever amongst the USD bonds issued by Greater China's auto companies. The final order book of over US$2.3bn represented an oversubscription ratio of close to 6 times.

ZGH will use the net proceeds from the Green Bond to finance or refinance the design, development and production of zero-emission capable vehicles by LTC. ZGH is investing GBP300m in LTC’s new research and production facility in Ansty in the West Midlands region of the UK to develop the next generation London taxi, the TX5. The new model was unveiled last October in London in the presence of the Chinese President Xi Jinping during his state visit to the UK. The TX5 is a zero-emission capable vehicle and will be launched in the UK at the end of 2017 and in international markets in 2018. The vehicle will hence be compliant with new environmental requirements being introduced in London.

LTC is also working on several zero-emission model concepts, including light commercial vehicles as part of ZGH’s plans to significantly raise production at LTC and position it as a leading manufacturer of green and environmentally friendly transportation.

“We are delighted with the response of investors to our Green Bond offering” said Yifan Li, CFO of ZGH. “The issuance of the Green Bond is in line with our corporate vision to produce the safest, most environmentally friendly and most energy-efficient vehicles. The commitment of ZGH and all of the Group’s brands to reduce emissions means we are well positioned to benefit from the shift towards ever greener vehicles.”

“We are committed to producing zero-emission capable vehicles,” said Peter Johansen, CEO of LTC. “I believe the issuance of the Green Bond will further enhance our competitive edge in new energy technologies. Our next generation of zero-emission vehicles, the TX5, will be sold across the world, creating an environmentally friendly transportation system.” 

Bank of China provided a Standby Letter of Credit for the Green Bond. Joint Global Coordinators included Bank of China, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Société Générale.

ZGH engaged Deloitte to provide independent limited assurance in relation to the Green Bond Management Statement.

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