Findel secures £18m sustainability-linked loan

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30/03/2022

Education supplies sector first with £18m sustainability-linked loan from Santander

Banking and Finance lawyers at Walker Morris have advised Endless-backed Findel on an innovative sustainability loan – what is believed to be the first of its kind in the education supplies sector.

Based in Hyde, Findel will use the £18m facility from Santander to support its medium-term growth plans whilst driving its environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments.

Backed by private equity firm, Endless following a management buyout in April 2021, the company now offers more than 32,000 products to educators and parents based in the UK and overseas with the business exporting to 130 countries.

To qualify as a sustainability-linked loan, Findel has made specific annual commitments regarding improving its carbon footprint and making its products sustainable, or sustainably improved, with a focus on removing single use plastics.

In addition, the company has committed to supporting an increasing number of its employees to engage in charity or community activities and improving its supply chain ESG audits for suppliers operating in higher risk global markets.

Findel’s progress against these commitments will be independently monitored by a third-party sustainability-linked loan assurance provider.

Dependent upon Findel’s performance against these improving annual commitments, the interest rate on the Santander UK debt facility could go up or down over its six-year term.

Any savings in interest costs made from Findel hitting its ESG targets will then be donated to support relevant community programmes and charitable causes.

Partner Phil Scott led the Walker Morris team with support from Laura Swift.

“We’ve been delighted to support Findel and Endless on this innovative form of funding, a first in the local mid-market. With ESG high on many board room agendas we think there will be increasing appetite for these types of facilities which clearly demonstrate organisations and lenders commitments to ESG goals.”

Findel chief executive, Chris Mahady, commented:

“In many respects, Findel has been an ESG-focused business since it was founded because of the dedication we have always had to education, care and helping children learn and develop.

“Being able to secure what both we and Santander UK believe to be the UK education supplies sector’s first sustainability-linked loan facility is something we are very proud of.

“It will ensure we further embed ESG at the heart of Findel, enable us to lead by example as a sustainable and responsible business in the markets we serve and invest in new products and services for the benefit of educators and parents worldwide.”

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