Travers Smith LLP has advised RSK Group (RSK), the UK’s largest privately-owned multi-disciplinary environmental business, on £1 billion of available debt facilities made available by leading global alternative investment manager, Ares Management Corporation (Ares). Ares is the sole unitranche lender for this transaction which marks the largest private credit-backed sustainability-linked financing to date, with an additional £40 million of day-one revolving debt provided by National Westminster Bank plc (NatWest) to further support RSK's working capital requirements.
The new debt facilities will be used to refinance RSK’s existing credit facilities as well as support its continued organic and inorganic growth plans. The facilities include an annual margin review based on the achievement of sustainability-linked targets, which are broadly focused on carbon intensity reduction and continual improvement to health and safety management and ethics. RSK anticipates interest savings of over £500,000 per year and has committed to donate a minimum of 50% of any margin benefit toward sustainability-related initiatives or charitable causes.
Founded in 1989, RSK is a fully integrated, environmental, engineering and technical services group currently comprised of over 100 businesses and employing more than 6,000 specialists with an established presence in more than 40 countries around the world. RSK supports its global client base across diversified sectors, from energy to water, to conduct business in a sustainable, safe and environmentally responsible manner through comprehensive, solutions-led services.
The team was led by Head of Finance Matt Ayre supported by Associates Michael Leadbeater and Fiona Cantlay, Trainee Will Legood and Paralegals Sam Simkins and Jorja Hills.
Alan Ryder, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of RSK commented: "We are pleased to work with Travers Smith again and are grateful for their expert support throughout this transaction. There are very few firms like Ares that possess the scale, flexibility and sharp focus on ESG to provide a sustainability linked financing of this kind. This financing demonstrates our deep commitment to driving sustainable business practices not just within our clients’ businesses, but also within our own. We look forward to continuing the great relationship we have with the Ares team while responsibly expanding our services and geographic footprint as we strive to bring the most comprehensive range of sustainable solutions to our clients."
Head of Finance Matt Ayre added: “We are proud to support RSK on this significant financing that represents a first for both RSK and Ares. Sustainable finance is of rapidly growing importance to our borrower, sponsor and lender clients alike and our team is at the forefront of developing innovative financing solutions in this space, having previously advised on one of the first European ESG-linked subscription line facilities."
Ares was advised by Dechert LLP and NatWest was advised by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.
Sustainability lies at the heart of Travers Smith's business proposition and is high on the agenda for many of our clients. Our industry-leading cross-practice team remains at the heart of developments and is committed to working with our clients as they navigate the huge opportunities and considerable challenges ahead. Travers Smith also undertakes pro bono work on ESG and sustainability, including supporting the International Climate Initiative in their work with private equity firms on climate change. Our Sustainable Business Hub is regularly being updated with the latest resources and knowledge briefings, designed to help you and your business to anticipate regulatory developments, proactively manage risk and achieve your sustainable business objectives.