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CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats and Herbert Smith Freehills on inserting environmental and social criteria into Fromageries Bel’s main credit facility


CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats acted as counsel for Fromageries Bel, and Herbert Smith Freehills as counsel for the banks, in connection with including environmental and social criteria in Fromageries Bel's main credit facility.

When it signed an amendment to extend the maturity date of its renewable multicurrency €520-million loan on 21 December 2017, Fromageries Bel took the opportunity to insert environmental and social criteria.

According to this agreement, Fromageries Bel will pursue the following objectives:

  • to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (reduced to equivalent tonnes of cheese produced);
  • to develop nutrition education programs in the group's key countries; and
  • to take concrete steps to develop a sustainable upstream dairy industry.

The company thus assumes an ethical obligation of results. If it does not achieve these objectives, the Bel Group will take offsetting measures through direct investments or by financing not-for-profit or non-governmental organisations.

This initiative is in keeping with the social orientation of the Bel Group, which is the first dairy group to voluntarily index a credit facility on its achievements in the area of sustainable development.

Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking acted as coordinator in connection with this operation. E&S and BNP Paribas acted as agent. CIC, Citi, MUFG, HSBC, Commerzbank, KBC, the BPCE Group, and the Crédit Agricole Group are the other participating banks.

CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats acted as counsel for Fromageries Bel. The team was composed of Marc-Etienne Sébire, partner, Alexandre Bordenave, counsel, and Benoît Fournier, associate.

Herbert Smith Freehills advised the banks with Laure Bonin, partner, and Bénédicte Charles and Niels Ardeo Winter, associates.

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