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Commitment 03 Aug 2021

BBVA leads one of the world's first sustainable transactions for data centers

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Nabiax, a leader in data centers in Spain and Latin America, has converted one of their financing in the project finance format into a sustainable one for €320 million. BBVA acted as the sustainable coordinating bank for this sustainable financing that marks a milestone in the data technology sector.

The digital transformation of companies has sparked interest in data centers. Due to this, it was only a matter of time before companies like these entered the world of sustainable financing with Nabiax becoming one of the first to do so. With BBVAs guidance as the sustainable coordinating bank, the leading data center company in Spain and Latin America has converted its €320 million financing into a sustainable format.

This project finance became sustainable once its price mechanism was linked to three ESG indicators. Two are environmental and related to greenhouse gases and water treatment, while the third is social and connected to gender equality. The defined indicators include the percentage of renewable electricity, water consumption (m3 / MW), and a target for hiring more women in the workplace. If the company meets the levels established for these indicators, Nabiax will receive an improvement in their financing price. On the contrary, if it fails to achieve the set goals, it will be penalized. Valora is the project’s sustainability consultant that has issued the expert opinion in this case.

Nabiax was created in 2019 after the infrastructure fund Asterion Industrial Partners bought 11 data centers in Spain, Latin America and the United States from Telefónica. Additionally, in May 2021, Telefónica and Asterion agreed to the contribution of another four data centers in exchange for a 20 percent stake in Nabiax. In its first two years, Nabiax increased its IT power capacity by 50 percent, from 30 MW to 45 MW, combining organic and inorganic growth.

“Nabiax has a strong commitment to sustainability and for this project we have chosen priority objectives for the company, such as a renewable supply and efficient consumption of water for our data centers, as well as promoting gender equality within our professional team,” said Nabiax CFO Iván Paja.

This transaction is unique thanks to its sustainability angle, and also global, given that seven countries from two continents have been involved in it.

BBVA, a benchmark in sustainable financing

In 2018, as a sign of its responsibility in the fight against climate change, BBVA announced its Pledge 2025, with a target to mobilize €100 billion in green financing, sustainable infrastructure, social entrepreneurship, and financial inclusion. Three years later, and after having managed to reach €59 billion, the bank has now increased its goal to €200 billion. “We want to contribute to the global collective effort against climate change and promote inclusive growth, leaving no one behind. Two pillars that guide our pledge and purpose to bring the age of opportunity to everyone,” said BBVA Chairman Carlos Torres Vila.

BBVA Corporate & Investment Banking has the capacity, knowledge and experience to provide its wholesale and institutional clients with superior advice on sustainable financing solutions, a market in the development of which it has played a key role.

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