Vittoria issues sustainability-linked bond through UniCredit to finance ESG initiatives

Bike tyre specialist Vittoria has issued, through UniCredit, a five million ESG sustainability-linked bond to finance its investments in capacity and innovation in Thailand and Italy.

The five-million-euro bond has a duration of six years and is initially fully subscribed by UniCredit. A reinforced partnership between Vittoria Group and UniCredit has been formed that will further develop through corporate and retail services for the Vittoria Group and Vittoria Park in the coming months.

Vittoria will receive a bonus from UniCredit in the form of a reduction in the coupon rate upon achievement of the sustainability targets set at the time of the bond issue. To support the financing of these investments, Vittoria Group and UniCredit have opted to issue an ESG-related bond, that will have environment, social and governance objectives to reduce CO2eq emissions, work-related incidents and to promote diversity in the workforce over the coming years.

Paolo Gambarini, co-founder and CEO of Wise Equity, said: “We are very pleased with the development of Vittoria Group and the opportunity that this bond with UniCredit has given us.”

Stijn Vriends, president and CEO of Vittoria Group, added: “In Vittoria we are serious about our ESG initiatives, and we are thus very pleased that the market supports us with competitive financing of these.“

Vittoria said it has growth and investment plans to continue to supply cyclists with the most advanced and sustainable bicycle tyres on the planet. Two projects that have recently been launched are a new factory near Bangkok in Thailand and the Vittoria Park near Milan in Italy.

The new factory, which is set to open at the beginning of 2023, will be part of the group’s Lion Tyres Thailand (LTT) industrial footprint and will help double the installed capacity for bicycle tyres over the coming years.

The new structure is designed and built following ESG guidelines and will achieve carbon neutrality through the use of sustainable materials, innovative electrified processes and renewable energy and solar panels, said Vittoria.

Vittoria Park is being built around the group’s headquarters in Brembate as an all-discipline cycling experience and innovation centre for bicycle tyre development. The five-hectare area contains more than 4km of different cycling tracks, various skill areas and the multifunctional Vittoria House. The Vittoria Park will also contain the new Bicycle Tyre Innovation Center for high-tech testing facilities that will combine internal and external testing.

Read more: Specialized UK acquires Rutland Cycling as part of expanding retailer network

Marco Bortoletti, UniCredit’s Lombardy regional manager, said: “We are very pleased to support sustainability projects and consolidate our relationship with an international and innovative partner such as Vittoria, with whom we have had a long-standing partnership.

“Through the minibond instrument, a segment in which UniCredit is a leader in Italy, we mobilise significant resources in favour of Italian and Lombardy SMEs, encouraging and facilitating the transition of our entrepreneurial system towards alternative forms of investment financing.

“The numbers in Lombardy are of full satisfaction, as witnessed by the approximately €130 million in total volumes underlying the issues of this capital market instrument by 24 companies in Lombardy.”

Rebecca Morley

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