PeopleCert Greece

Location:

Greece

Project number:

50122

Business sector:

Telecommunications, Media and Technology

Notice type:

Private

Environmental category:

C

Approval date:

21 Jul 2021

Status:

Signed

PSD disclosed:

04 Oct 2021

As permitted by paragraph 2.6 of Section III of the Access to Information Policy, disclosure of this PSD was deferred in accordance with paragraph 1.4.4 of the Directive on Access to Information.

Project Description

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("EBRD" or the "Bank") invested EUR 50 million in a debut 5-year EUR 300 million Eurobond issued by the PeopleCert Group ("PeopleCert" or the "Group").

Project Objectives

Bond proceeds were used to support the acquisition of Axelos Ltd (the "Target"), a UK based examination provider and PeopleCert's main business partner. A small share of the use of proceeds will be used to refinance Group's existing indebtedness.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 72

The Transition Impact derives from the following transition qualities:

Competitive: The acquisition supports the vertical integration strategy of the Group and entails significant operational improvements, allowing PeopleCert to reach international best performance standards.

Inclusive: By upgrading the digital accessibility of the Group's software product range for people with disabilities.

Client Information

PEOPLECERT WISDOM ISSUER PLC

PeopleCert is a tech-enabled examination business platform specialising in the assessment and certification of professional, IT and language skills and existing EBRD client since 2017. The Group was established in 2000 in Greece, where until today 96% of employees are located, and has in recent years expanded its offering internationally, becoming a significant player in the global certification industry. PeopleCert Wisdom Issuer Plc is a special purpose company incorporated in the UK and fully owned by the Group, which has been exclusively set up for the purpose of the bond issue.

EBRD Finance Summary

EUR 50,000,000.00

Total Project Cost

EUR 300,000,000.00

Additionality

The Bank's participation in the operation (i) supported an existing client with complex technology business model to tap the international debt capital markets for first time, ensuring a successful book-building process; and (ii) contributes to higher inclusion standards, promoting also gender equality.

Environmental and Social Summary

Categorised C (ESP 2019). Given the nature of the capital market transaction, ESDD was carried out internally without MNPI based on the review of the most recent annual ES report (May 2021) associated with the preceding project as well as follow up examination. ESDD showed that the Issuer is in compliance with relevant national law and EBRD PRs. ESDD also showed that ES issues associated with financing the Issuer's certification service company and acquisition of the Target (an examination provider) are limited. However ESDD indicated that there is a probability that the acquisition could be associated with labour restructuring and retrenchment within the UK Target, therefore the Framework Agreement includes a specific covenant requiring that the client develops a Retrenchment Plan in addition to compliance with the Banks PRs and provision of annual report requirements.

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

N/A

Company Contact Information

Mr. George Giannetsos (Chief Financial Officer)
George.Giannetsos@peoplecert.org
+30 210 3729006-7
www.peoplecert.org
3 Korai Str., 105 64, Athens, Greece

PSD last updated

04 Oct 2021

Understanding Transition

Further information regarding the EBRD’s approach to measuring transition impact is available here.

Business opportunities

For business opportunities or procurement, contact the client company.

For business opportunities with EBRD (not related to procurement) contact:

Tel: +44 20 7338 7168
Email: projectenquiries@ebrd.com

For state-sector projects, visit EBRD Procurement:

Tel: +44 20 7338 6794
Email: procurement@ebrd.com

General enquiries

Specific enquiries can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Environmental and Social Policy (ESP)

The ESP and the associated Performance Requirements (PRs) set out the ways in which the EBRD implements its commitment to promoting “environmentally sound and sustainable development”.  The ESP and the PRs include specific provisions for clients to comply with the applicable requirements of national laws on public information and consultation as well as to establish a grievance mechanism to receive and facilitate resolution of stakeholders’ concerns and grievances, in particular, about environmental and social performance of the client and the project. Proportionate to the nature and scale of a project’s environmental and social risks and impacts, the EBRD additionally requires its clients to disclose information, as appropriate, about the risks and impacts arising from projects or to undertake meaningful consultation with stakeholders and consider and respond to their feedback.

More information on the EBRD’s practices in this regard is set out in the ESP.

Integrity and Compliance

The EBRD's Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (OCCO) promotes good governance and ensures that the highest standards of integrity are applied to all activities of the Bank in accordance with international best practice. Integrity due diligence is conducted on all Bank clients to ensure that projects do not present unacceptable integrity or reputational risks to the Bank. The Bank believes that identifying and resolving issues at the project assessment approval stages is the most effective means of ensuring the integrity of Bank transactions. OCCO plays a key role in these protective efforts, and also helps to monitor integrity risks in projects post-investment.

OCCO is also responsible for investigating allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct in EBRD-financed projects. Anyone, both within or outside the Bank, who suspects fraud or corruption should submit a written report to the Chief Compliance Officer by email to compliance@ebrd.com. All matters reported will be handled by OCCO for follow-up. All reports, including anonymous ones, will be reviewed. Reports can be made in any language of the Bank or of the Bank's countries of operation. The information provided must be made in good faith.

Access to Information Policy (AIP)

The AIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations following its entry into force on 1 January 2020. Please visit the Access to Information Policy page to find out what information is available from the EBRD website.

Specific requests for information can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)

If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).

IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.

Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out more about IPAM and its mandate; how to submit a Request for review; or contact IPAM  via email ipam@ebrd.com to get guidance and more information on IPAM and how to submit a request.

 

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