The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is investing €10 million in a €48 million sustainability-linked bond issued by Autonom, a Romanian car leasing and rental company. This is Romania’s first sustainability-linked bond and the debut issuance under Autonom’s five-year €250 million corporate bond programme.
Autonom’s services include car leasing, fleet management and short-term rental of vehicles. The company is raising finance to pursue environmentally friendly growth. It aims to expand the car fleet to meet increased demand from local business, while reducing its carbon footprint.
In line with its sustainability strategy, by 2025, the company plans to cut the operating fleet’s carbon emissions by 25 per cent, and by 51 per cent by 2030.
“Autonom’s sustainability-linked bond is a milestone for Romania as the first instrument of this type issued locally. By launching this programme, which underpins Autonom’s ambitious sustainability strategy, the company signals its commitment to significantly reducing its carbon footprint, which is consistent with decarbonisation objectives of European Union countries. We are proud to support Autonom in its sustainability journey,” Mark Davis, EBRD Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria, said.
“We believe that the future belongs to companies with valuable, transparent, and responsible business models. These criteria will become a benchmark for all, and we believe that the Romanian capital markets will provide extraordinary opportunities for local companies that care about their impact in the society. We appreciate the thoughtful advice, the passion for excellence and the strong commitment of the EBRD. We are grateful for the Bank’s trust, dedication and support for our ambitious vision,” Marius and Dan Ștefan, the co-founders of Autonom, commented.
Founded in 2006 in Piatra Neamț by entrepreneurs Marius Stefan and Dan Stefan, Autonom has more than 500 employees and operates a fleet of over 9,000 cars. It is a member of the EBRD’s Blue Ribbon programme, which delivers tailor-made financing and sector-specific advice – covering operational, management and financial advisory – to high-growth small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the course of five years.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Romania and has invested €9.3 billion through 477 projects in the country to date, with 77 per cent of that in the private sector.