Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) Innovates with First Listing of European Academic Bonds

Brussels, 30 October 2015 – Alternext in Brussels today welcomed the listing of a series of bonds issued by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the Dutch-speaking university of Brussels. The bonds will be listed under the Euronext Private Placement Bonds programme (EPPB), an initiative giving issuers of private placement bonds simplified access to Euronext markets. To celebrate the new listing, Prof. Dr. Paul De Knop, Rector of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, rang the bell to open trading.

The VUB bonds have been subscribed for a combined amount of € 61.5 million. The university’s series of amortising bonds comprises Fixed Rate Notes with a maturity of 15 years for an amount of €13 million and a coupon of 1,4%, Fixed Rate Notes with a maturity of 20 years for an amount of €20.5 million and a coupon of 1.653% and Floating Rate Notes (6 months) with a maturity of 20 years for an amount of € 28 million. The operation was led by Belfius.

The proceeds of the operation will be used to fund a large real estate project, which includes student apartments, state of the art academic facilities and a new cultural centre.

Prof. Dr. Paul De Knop, Rector of Vrije Universiteit Brussel:  “A university in expansion cannot grow without dynamic external investors. A bond issue with listing on Alternext is a logical step forward for the VUB. The large interest of investors clearly indicates the financial attractiveness of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the confidence of the investors in the financial health of the university.”

Alain Baetens, Head of Listing of Euronext Brussels: “It’s the first time a university lists a bond issue on our markets in Europe. We are pleased to see the Vrije Universiteit Brussel pioneering and embracing the capital markets to support its ambitious growth plans. It is an excellent example how companies, institutes and governmental bodies can benefit from our innovative EPPB offer, through a simplified and cost-effective listing process, and secure and transparent access to a large base of international investors.

Dirk Gyselinck, Member of Executive Committee, Belfius Bank: “ As a preferred partner of public sector issuers, Belfius was more than happy and honoured to accompany VUB in its first steps towards the capital markets. We were pleased with the very positive feedback of both domestic and international investors, enabling VUB to print amortising notes in different tenors, creating a well-balanced amortisation scheme perfectly matching the VUB’s financing needs.”  

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a dynamic and modern university with almost two centuries of history. Centrally situated in the capital of Europe, the university is the largest Dutch-speaking employer in the Brussels Region, offering a quality education to more than 9,000 students in a spirit of active pluralism and open-mindness.

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