Credit investor presentation

A diverse and well-balanced funding strategy

Air Liquide regularly reviews its financing strategy to integrate financial market conditions with its growth objectives. As part of this review, we ensure that we maintain a credit profile consistent with a minimum long-term rating of category A" from the rating agencies Standard & Poor's and Moody's. On September 6th 2022, Moody’s decided for the first time since the Aigas acquisition in 2016 to upgrade the Air Liquide Group credit rating to “A2” from “A3” with a “stable” outlook. Following Standard & Poor's upgrade of Air Liquide’s credit rating in July 2021, Moody’s decision acknowledges that the Group's level of indebtedness has been reduced in 5 years to the level prior to this acquisition. It also reflects the widely demonstrated resilience of Air Liquide's business model.

Air Liquide’s financing principles

Our financing strategy consists in the following principles:

  • Diversification of funding sources and debt maturities to minimize refinancing risk
  • Backing of commercial paper issues with solid lines of credit
  • Hedging of interest rate risks to ensure visibility of funding costs in line with long-term investment decisions
  • Funding investments in the currency of operating cash flows to ensure a natural foreign exchange hedge
  • Centralizing excess cash through Air Liquide Finance, a wholly owned entity of Air Liquide S.A.

€10.448M Net debt 2021

€12.695M Gross debt 2021

47.5% Gearing ratio

89% Financial market debt

A well balanced mix of funding sources and maturities

Air Liquide diversifies its financing sources by accessing various debt markets. In the long run, the Group funds itself with bond issues, usually through its Euro Medium-Term Notes programme (EMTN), targeting European, American, as well as Chinese markets. Over the short term, Air Liquide has recourse to Negotiable European Commercial Paper (NEU CP) and US Commercial Paper. The Group has also access to a Syndicated Credit Facility and several bilateral credit facilities with the Group’s core banking partners for general corporate purposes.

In certain special circumstances, (for instance: regulatory constraints, high country risk or partnership), the Group reduces its exposure by setting up a specific funding for its subsidiaries with local bank market.

Air Liquide diversifies its funding sources and spreads maturities over several years to minimize refinancing risks related to debt repayment schedules.

Additionally, the Group’s operations generate a regular cash flow that helps to reduce these risks.

At the end of 2021, the average maturity of the Group's debt was 6 years, slightly higher than the 2020 level.