ITALY: Open access high speed train operator Italo has signed a €1·1bn syndicated loan, which CEO Gianbattista La Rocca said was the world’s largest green loan in the transport sector.

The proceeds will be used to refinance €900m of existing green investments on better terms, and to invest in the rolling stock fleet.

The deal was arranged by Banca IMI (Intesa Sanpaolo Group), Natixis and UniCredit, with ING Bank as green advisor to Italo. Financing was syndicated to Banco BPM, Banco Santander, BNL, ING Bank, Mediobanca and Société Générale as mandated lead arrangers and BPER, CAIXA Bank, MUFG and NatWest as lead arrangers.

Shearman & Sterling acted as legal counsel to Italo, while White & Case acted for the lenders. Sustainalytics provided a second-party opinion on Italo’s green finance framework.

Announcing the deal on November 7, Italo said travelling on its trains from Roma to Milano generated 79% less CO2 than driving and 85% less than flying.