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Bridgestone Americas Underscores Commitment to Sustainability with New $1.1 Billion Credit Facility

2021-02-04 19:00 ET - News Release

- Bridgestone is executing one of the first sustainably linked credit facilities in the U.S. tire industry.
- The new credit line interest rate is tied to the Company's global sustainability performance ratings.
- Bridgestone is pursuing a bold vision to become a world-leading sustainable solutions company.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Bridgestone Americas, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation ("Bridgestone" or the "Company") and a global leader in sustainable mobility solutions, announced the issue of a $1.1 billion sustainability-linked credit facility, one of the first of its kind in the U.S. tire industry.

The credit instrument underscores the commitment of Bridgestone to sustainable business practices and complements its 2050 Vision to become a sustainable solutions company that provides social and customer value.

"Sustainability is at the center of our company's mission to realize innovations that improve the way people move, live, work and play," said Paolo Ferrari, president and CEO of Bridgestone Americas, Inc. "We will continue to take bold steps to fulfill our commitment to our customers and to society as we endeavor to be a world-leading sustainable solutions company." 

Consistent with that spirit of innovation, Bridgestone partnered with SMBC, a leading global bank and pioneer in sustainable and positive impact loans, to execute this inaugural syndicated sustainability-linked credit facility. The financing features a sustainability-linked pricing adjustment mechanism that adjusts interest rate based on the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Risk Rating of Bridgestone, as determined by Sustainalytics, as well as by the ESG rating of FTSE Russell, both leading independent providers of environmental, social and governance ratings. As Bridgestone sustainability ratings improve, borrowing costs will be reduced. The sustainability mechanism was structured in accordance with the Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles promulgated by the syndicated loan market industry associations.

"This committed credit facility reinforces our commitment to sustainability by linking the rate structure of the facility to independent assessments of our continued efforts to advance Bridgestone's sustainability practices," said Jose Anes, vice president and corporate treasurer of Bridgestone Americas.

This transaction reinforces proven sustainability commitments of Bridgestone, including its 2030 Environmental Milestones, Sustainable Procurement Practices, and recently announced Sustainability Business Framework.

The Company's sustainability achievements have also been recognized by indexes and rankings such as FTSE4Good, STOXX, and CDP, where Bridgestone has earned an "A" for Climate Disclosure, among others.

"SMBC is excited to help our partners at Bridgestone Americas further elevate their position and stake as a sustainability leader in the tire industry through this revolving credit facility," said Hiro Hyakutome, CEO and Head of SMBC Americas Division.  "Our deep and well-recognized expertise in green loans and sustainability-linked loans helps our global clients achieve their near- and longer-term ESG objectives. We look forward to continuing to help support Bridgestone's sustainability initiatives." 

For more company news and information on sustainability initiatives, visit BridgestoneAmericas.com.

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.: 
Nashville, Tennessee-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, a global leader providing sustainable mobility and advanced solutions. Bridgestone Americas develops, manufactures, and markets a diverse portfolio of original equipment and replacement tires, tire-centric solutions, mobility solutions, and other rubber-associated and diversified products that deliver social value and customer value. Guided by its global corporate social responsibility commitment, Our Way to Serve, Bridgestone is dedicated to shaping a sustainable future of mobility and improving the way people move, live, work and play.

About SMBC Group:
SMBC Group is a top-tier global financial group. Headquartered in Tokyo and with a 400-year history, SMBC Group offers a diverse range of financial services, including banking, leasing, securities, credit cards, and consumer finance. The Group has more than 130 offices and 85,000 employees worldwide in nearly 40 countries. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. (SMFG) is the holding company of SMBC Group, which is one of the three largest banking groups in Japan. SMFG's shares trade on the Tokyo, Nagoya, and New York (NYSE: SMFG) stock exchanges. As of September 30, 2020, its total assets were $2.13 trillion.

In the Americas, SMBC Group has a presence in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. Backed by the capital strength of SMBC Group and the value of its relationships in Asia, the Group offers a range of commercial and investment banking services to its corporate, institutional, and municipal clients. It connects a diverse client base to local markets and the organization's extensive global network. The Group's operating companies in the Americas include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), SMBC Nikko Securities America, Inc., SMBC Capital Markets, Inc., SMBC Rail Services LLC, Manufacturers Bank, JRI America, Inc., SMBC Leasing and Finance, Inc., Banco Sumitomo Mitsui Brasileiro S.A., and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Co., Ltd.

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SOURCE Bridgestone Americas, Inc.

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