The refinancing was structured by way of a seven-year £510m revolving capex facility and associated ancillary facilities, in addition to an accordion extension feature to allow the facilities to support new meter contract wins.
The financing maintains a green label issued under the Green Financing Framework put in place by SMA in February 2022. Issuing Green Finance instruments allows SMA to confirm that the assets funded are in compliance with its core values of enabling and accelerating the energy transition.
The refinancing received strong support from leading European banks making up the lending group, all with significant smart meter lending experience and secures funding to enable the continued roll-out of smart meters for SMA’s two key originating energy suppliers, OVO Energy and Utility Warehouse.
Jeff Studholme, Managing Director of SMA commented “The SMA refinancing is a key milestone for the business, providing access to competitive, long-term debt financing to fund smart meters for our key customers, OVO Energy and Utility Warehouse.”
Christian Scott-Mackenzie, Arcus Asset Manager of SMA said “There is increasing recognition of smart meters as core infrastructure assets, with defensive characteristics and credit protections. We are proud to be the first pure-play UK meter asset provider to issue Green-certified financing and look forward to working in partnership with our lenders.”
Katya Romanshkan, Investment Lead at GLIL Infrastructure, added: “This is a landmark step for SMA that will ultimately help more consumers benefit from smart meters. The technology is helping to underpin the UK’s transition to a lower carbon economy, and we look forward to working with SMA’s management team and Arcus to support the roll-out of more assets across the country.”
SMA was advised on the refinancing by Santander (financial) and Pinsent Masons (borrowers’ legal), and the lenders were advised by Herbert Smith Freehills (lenders’ legal).