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White & Case Advises FEFA on Mexico’s First Financial Inclusion-Linked ESG Bond Issuance

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Fondo Especial para Financiamientos Agropecuarios (FEFA) on the issuance of bonds, in two tranches, for a total aggregate amount of MXN 6 billion (approximately US$300 million).

"This is a landmark transaction in the Mexican market and sets another important milestone for FEFA as a frontier player in the ESG market," said White & Case partner Manuel Groenewold, who led the Firm's deal team.

One of the bonds issued was characterized as an ESG bond linked to financial inclusion for MXN 3.9 billion with a maturity of three years, at a floating rate of TIIE de Fondeo, plus a spread.

The resources from the financial inclusion social bond will be allocated to finance or refinance projects in eligible categories, including access to financial products and services for producers and enterprises in the agricultural, forestry, fisheries and rural sectors, under the issuer’s social bond framework. The financial inclusion social bond was certified by Moody's ESG Solutions, an international expert company in green, social and sustainability-linked bonds. Santander, HSBC and Scotiabank acted as underwriters for the issuance.

The bonds were placed via a local public placement in Mexico on the Mexican Stock Exchange, Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV).

White & Case has advised FEFA on all of its bond issuances since 2016.

Established in 1965, FEFA is the Mexican governmental development agency dedicated to financing the agriculture sector. It offers financing, subsidies and other services for production, recollection and distribution of goods and services through long term financing for the acquisition of machinery, equipment and installations, among others. FEFA is integrated as part of Trust Funds for Rural Development, which operates as a second tier development bank offering credit and guarantees, training, technical assistance and technology-transfer support to the agriculture, livestock, fishing, forestry and agribusiness sectors in Mexico.

The White & Case team in Mexico City that advised on the transaction was led by partner Manuel Groenewold and counsel Eric Quiles and included associates Simon Micha and Viridiana Alanis.

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