New York – September 8, 2020
Bell & Evans, a vertically integrated poultry processor, and Rabobank, a global financial services leader in food and agribusiness, announced they successfully closed a $300 million senior secured credit facility that is the first Green Loan in the U.S. poultry sector.
The credit facility includes a five-year $50 million revolver, a five-year $65 million term loan, and a seven-year $185 million delayed draw term loan that is provided by a syndicate of 15 banks led by Rabobank. The facility is defined as a Green Loan, as it contributes to the achievement of global environmental objectives, adheres to no-harm principles, and is structured in accordance with the Green Loan Principles.
As a vertically integrated poultry processor, Bell & Evans is an industry pioneer in chicken raised without antibiotics (RWA) and a leader in humane animal welfare standards. Proceeds from the credit facility, which was finalized in April, are being used to finance the company’s operations and the construction of a new 411,500 square foot chicken harvesting facility located in Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania. The facility is being designed to focus on animal welfare and environmental sustainability.
The need for the new facility grew out of the increased demand for organic and RWA chicken in recent years. This new facility will begin operations in late 2021 and allow Bell & Evans – which has a long history of innovation, corporate responsibility and animal stewardship – to expand its top line and serve new customers and markets.
“We are excited to be moving forward on this project with a financial partner that recognizes and shares our commitments to sustainability and excellence,” said Scott Sechler, Sr., president and owner of Bell & Evans. “Entering into this Green Loan clearly demonstrates that sustainability is an integral part of both our strategy and finances.”
Rabobank, which provides sector expertise, strategic counsel and tailored solutions to clients across the entire food value chain, has a longstanding commitment to sustainability within global food and agribusiness and is a key provider of sustainability-linked financial services.
“We are excited to partner with Bell & Evans, which provides premium, sustainably-raised poultry products, to support its efforts to advance sustainability practices throughout the value chain,” said Nader Pasdar, Rabobank’s Head of Markets North America. “This green financing demonstrates Rabobank’s commitment to sustainability and our mission of Growing a Better World Together.”
About Bell & Evans – Bell & Evans is America’s oldest branded chicken company, celebrating 125 years of business and 10 years of organic production. Bell & Evans is the industry pioneer of “all-natural” chicken, first to introduce Raised Without Antibiotics, and has established the highest set of animal welfare standards in the industry. From its World’s First Organic Certified, Animal-Welfare-Focused Chicken Hatchery to Slow Induction Anesthesia and 100% Air Chill process, Bell & Evans is passionate about raising chickens responsibly using common sense practices.
Rabobank Group is a global financial services leader providing wholesale and retail banking, leasing, and real estate services in more than 40 countries worldwide. Founded over a century ago, Rabobank today is one of the world’s largest banks with over $640 billion in assets. In the Americas, Rabobank is a premier bank to the food, agribusiness and beverage industry, providing sector expertise, strategic counsel and tailored financial solutions to clients across the entire food value chain. Additional information is available on our website or on our social media platforms, including Twitter and LinkedIn
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