German firm Durr secures \u2018sustainable\u2019 \u20ac750M loan via blockchain

Last Thursday, it was reported that one of the world’s largest mechanical and plant engineering firms, Durr, had received a €750 million ($839.36 million) loan, German news outlet Finance Magazine reported. The loan was provided to the Germany-based company using a blockchain-based syndicated loan platform, making almost all steps of the loan process digitized using the technology.

The loan was the brainchild of Hengeler Mueller, who was able to create a syndicate of 13 banks from across Europe, Asia, and the United States to help refinance Durr so it would become more stable. The combination of the 13 financial institutions created a loan that consisted of €500 million ($559.57 million) in cash and a line of credit for an additional €250 million ($279.79 million). Included in the syndicate are the Bank of China, HSBC, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Santander, and LBBW.

This has allowed Durr to continue to develop technology that will reduce CO2 emissions as well as improve water consumption and worker conditions. This is why the conglomeration of companies decided to come together, to help a company that was dedicated to developing eco-friendly technology.

However, it should be noted that the use of the blockchain-based platform helped to demonstrate how easily these digitized transactions can occur, creating an eco-friendly environment as well. There is far less paper used in these digitized transactions, creating a greener environment. This will likely lead more financial institutions to use this type of technology, especially considering that it provides the highest degree of security available on the Internet.

This new agreement comes just two weeks after Durr had issued a €200 million ($223.83 million) sustainability “schuldschein.” This is a popular tool used within German financing. Both of the agreements were dependent upon receiving a high sustainability rating from the Ecovadis agency, which measures ecological factors such as water consumption, working conditions, and influences related to the return on loan.

Explained Durr chief financial officer, Carlo Crosetto, “The digital identity check increases security, and the process is faster.”

In April 2018, the Spanish banking institution BBVA became one of the first banks to process a loan using blockchain technology. The €75 million ($83.94 million) transaction was managed on a distributed ledger, and was considered a “significant advance in the exploitation of (distributed ledger) technology.”

BBVA also issued a $40 million structured green bond back in February. This loan transaction occurred using the technology platform and was issued to help finance the development of sustainable products.

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