BASKING RIDGE, N.J. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) today announced the pricing of its second Green Bond offering which follows its recent completion of the allocation of its first Green Bond and solidifies its position as a telecommunications industry leader in green finance. Verizon tapped two nationally recognized African-American-owned investment banking firms, Loop Capital Markets and Siebert Williams Shank, as lead underwriters, further strengthening its long-standing partnership with minority-owned businesses. Joining them as lead underwriters are BofA Securities and Citigroup.
Verizon expects to use the net proceeds of the $1 billion offering primarily for long-term renewable energy purchase agreements which support the construction of solar and wind facilities that will bring new renewable energy to the grids that power its networks. The offering is expected to close on September 18th.
Verizon is supporting the transition to a greener grid by making substantial investments in renewable energy. Verizon has set two ambitious goals: to source or generate renewable energy equivalent to 50% of its total annual electricity consumption by 2025 and be carbon neutral in its operations by 2035. The company is committed to integrating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including:
SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
SDG 13: Climate action and
SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions.
The new Green Bond will help support each of these efforts.
“Verizon’s second green bond affirms our commitment to take responsibility for protecting the environment, and Verizon remains the only U.S. telecommunications company to have completed a Green Bond. While Verizon has had a long history of partnering with diversity firms on capital market transactions, today marks an important milestone as we partner with minority- and women-owned firms as lead underwriters to execute such an important transaction for Verizon,” stated Matt Ellis, Verizon’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “Verizon is very committed to promoting racial equity across all spectrums, including in the capital markets. We hope that other issuers follow our lead and take action to address structural inequity and economic disparity faced by African-American and other minority- and women-owned businesses.”
“I applaud the bold actions of Verizon’s Board and management to live out the company’s ESG values through this second Green Bond issuance, but also through the company’s business diversity efforts by including Loop Capital Markets, an African-American-owned investment bank, as a joint bookrunner on the transaction,” said Jim Reynolds, Chairman and CEO, Loop Capital Markets. “Verizon recognizes that minority-owned firms attract the most diverse talent on Wall Street, and their support of that is evident in this bond transaction.”
“Verizon’s $1 billion Green Bond issuance, is the most recent example of the company’s longstanding holistic approach to ESG as it relates to the sustainable environment and the recognition of the social value of diversity and inclusion,” said Chris Williams, Chairman of the Board of Siebert Williams Shank. “Notably, Verizon’s decision to allocate equal responsibility and compensation to each of the minority-owned, and global bank underwriters, is evidence of the company’s commitment to providing meaningful economic opportunity on the basis of merit and equity.”
Bank of America’s and Citigroup’s participation in this transaction demonstrates their and Verizon’s shared commitment to meaningful empowerment of minority- and women-owned businesses.
“By awarding Siebert Williams Shank and Loop Capital Markets equal leadership roles alongside large financial institutions, Verizon is sending a strong message about its commitment to equality and financial empowerment and is paving the way for other Fortune 500 issuers to do the same,” said John Utendahl, Vice Chairman of Bank of America. “This aligns with Bank of America’s long-standing commitment to the people and communities it serves and our commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. Verizon is a leader in ESG issuance and we look forward to partnering with them on future transactions.”
Ray McGuire, Vice Chairman of Citigroup, added, “We congratulate Verizon for taking a leadership role in establishing new and highly achievable benchmarks for diversity and inclusion. With today’s transaction, Verizon sends a powerful message of progress towards equal economic opportunity by engaging minority-owned investment banks Loop Capital Markets and Siebert Williams Shank on an equal basis with Citi and BofA. Verizon’s leadership in Green Bonds, where proceeds are used to fund important initiatives for a healthier, cleaner future, should inspire companies in the United States and globally to pursue similar objectives. We thank Verizon for its leadership and I am encouraged that Verizon shares Citi’s values and an unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion and economic opportunity.”
Verizon recently announced a new responsible business plan, Citizen Verizon that will empower the technology leader to deliver on its mission to move the world forward by addressing pressing societal issues. With this transaction, Verizon is leveraging its position in the capital markets to drive both environmental and social progress.
To learn more about Verizon’s plan for economic, environmental and social advancement, see https://www.verizon.com/about/responsibility .