Press Releases

IFC and EBRD to Attempt Production Restart at Bulgaria's Celhart

Afshin Molavi

Phone:  (202) 458-5674

Fax:  (202) 974-4384



Jeff Hiday

Phone:  44 207 7338 6997


Washington D.C., February 27, 2002—The International Finance Corporation and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are leading efforts to restructure Bulgarian paper and sack maker Celhart, where production has been halted since last year.  In order to facilitate such restructuring, the IFC and EBRD — as major secured creditors of Celhart — have appointed a Manager of the company in line with Bulgarian legislation.  The two international financial institutions are in advanced discussions with Celhart's management and its parent company Isiklar Ambalaj.

The main objective of the restructuring is to restart production at the mill as soon as possible.  To that end, IFC and EBRD have initiated a search for an experienced industry operator for Celhart.  Both institutions are prepared to support financially the restart of operations of the mill.

The appropriate authorities in Sofia and Plovdiv, where Celhart is based, are being kept informed of the status of the discussions and the steps being taken and have expressed their support.  The EBRD and IFC are being assisted by local advisors Elana and Lega InterConsult, leading Bulgarian financial and legal consultants.

Celhart was privatised by Isiklar Holding, a leading Turkish industrial group with a dominant position in brown paper sack manufacturing in Turkey.

In November 1998 the EBRD and IFC each agreed to provide Celhart a US$13.9 million loan and $1.5 million in the form of new equity capital.  The purpose of the investments was to rehabilitate and modernise Celhart's production facilities to meet growing demand for kraft sacks and improve its environmental controls.

IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  Since its founding in 1956, IFC has committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged $20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries.  IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.

The EBRD aims to foster the transition from centrally planned to market economies in central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. It is owned by 60 countries, the European Investment Bank and the European Community. Visit the EBRD’s website at