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On October 23rd 2015, Vrije Universiteit Brussel successfully launched its inaugural issue of a series of multi-term Treasury Notes. The operation was led by Belfius Bank. As of today, the bonds are listed on Alternext, the non-regulated market of Euronext Brussels. This is a first for a university in Belgium and in Europe.
In its inaugural transaction, Vrije Universiteit Brussels managed to issue Medium Term Notes in the tenors 15 and 20 years, with yearly capital redemptions, for a total of EUR 61.5 mio. To this end , Vrije Universiteit Brussel had set up a Multi-term Treasury Notes Programme with a maximum issuance amount of EUR 130mio.
As of today, the bonds are listed on Alternext, the non-regulated market of Euronext Brussels. This is a first for a university in Belgium and in Europe. To celebrate the new listing, Paul De Knop, Rector of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, rang the bell to open trading, in the presence of the Euronext authorities and Belfius Bank, which structured the transaction.
In his speech, Paul De Knop underlined the big success of the transaction, with a strong interest from both Belgian and international investors at very interesting financial conditions. ‘A university in expansion cannot grow without dynamic external investors. A bond issue with listing on Alternext is a logical step forward for VUB. The large interest of investors clearly indicates the financial attractiveness of Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the confidence of the investors in the financial health of the university.’ stated Paul De Knop.
The transaction was printed at a total amount of EUR 61.5 mio, more than initially planned. Vrije Universiteit Brussel was able to diversify the tenors, with yearly capital redemptions, of 15 year at an attractive coupon of 1.4%, a 20 year bond at a coupon of 1.653%, and a 20 year bond at a floating rate of Euribor 6m + 70 basis points.
Paul De Knop highlighted the role of Belfius Bank in the success of the transaction. The very broad investor base, the expertise in providing debt capital solutions to issuers in the education sector, and the strong proactive approach of Belfius strongly contributed to successful closing of the transaction.
‘As a preferred partner of public sector issuers, Belfius was more than happy and honoured to accompany VUB in its first steps towards the capital markets. We were pleased with the very positive feedback of both domestic and international investors, enabling VUB to print amortizing notes in different tenors, creating a well-balanced amortisation scheme perfectly matching VUB’s financing needs.’ underlined Dirk Gyselinck, Member of the Executive Committee of Belfius.
The rector of Vrije Universiteit Brussel emphasized that the financing of the Project ‘XY’ is secured by the proceeds raised at low cost. This project includes no less than 650 modern student homes (20.400m2), extra space for education (3.500m2) and for culture & leisure (2.400 m²) on the campus Etterbeek. Project XY is part of the VUB2020-project to sustain and optimize the further growth of VUB. More information on the different investment projects can be found on the site of the project.