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EBRD invests in securitisation by Avis Greece

By Olga Aristeidou

EBRD supports Avis with a €37 million investment in its first auto leasing securitisation issuance.

  • EBRD supports Avis with a €37 million investment in its first auto leasing securitisation issuance
  • Largest non-banking securitisation transaction in Greece and first to have a green component
  • First securitisation since 2010 to achieve investment grade rating by two major rating agencies

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Fund (EIF) and a private investor are investing in a €186.4 million securitisation transaction of automotive leases, originated by Olympic Commercial and Tourist Enterprises S.A. (Avis), the leading car leasing company in Greece and master franchisee of the global car rental company Avis Budget Group.

The transaction is an important milestone for the Greek securitisation market as it is the largest issuance by a non-bank originator and the first auto lease asset-backed security (ABS) transaction in the country to have a sustainable and green element.

Part of the proceeds will be used by Avis for the replacement of its existing fleet with lower CO2 emissions, electric and hybrid vehicles, helping the company to reduce its diesel footprint. Moreover, the transaction will allow Avis to obtain medium-term liquidity to expand its leasing portfolio, by extending new leases to existing and new corporates and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Avis is the leading car rental company in Greece, holding a market share of around 30 per cent. With a fleet of more than 38,000 vehicles, the company is active both in the car rental and leasing segments, as well as in sales of used cars.

Supporting the capital markets development in Greece, the EBRD is investing in €37 million of senior notes, while the EIF and the private investor have subscribed to €43 million and €50 million of senior notes, respectively. The junior notes that comprise the rest of the capital structure will be retained by the originator.

This is the first securitisation since 2010 in Greece that has achieved an investment grade rating by two major rating agencies, S&P Global Ratings Europe Limited and Fitch Ratings Limited, with the senior notes being rated BBB+. Citi and Piraeus Bank S.A. acted as the joint lead managers and arrangers of the transaction.

This is the first successful Greek ABS issuance since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and it is of particular importance given the economic impact and market disruption caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

The EBRD started investing in Greece on a temporary basis in 2015 to support the country’s economic recovery. To date, the Bank has invested more than €3.9 billion in over 65 projects in the corporate, financial, energy and infrastructure sectors of the Greek economy.

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