Guatemala City, Guatemala, May 25, 2010—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, provided US$10 million to Lapco Corporation
S.A. (LAPCO), the market leader in the production and distribution of paint
in Central America, for an expansion project that is expected to generate
employment as well as increased micro and small business opportunities
in Guatemala and Central America.
The IFC financing will support the
relocation, modernization, and expansion of LAPCO’s paint factory in Guatemala.
The relocation to Escuintla, a rural part of the country, will increase
direct and indirect job opportunities in an area where unemployment rate
is higher than the country average. Leading equipment manufacturers and
experienced project managers will provide training to local staff. Besides
creating jobs, the investment also secures the employment of about 100
indigenous women who hand make paint brushes and related products for one
of LAPCO’s divisions.
“LAPCO looks forward to a long-lasting relationship with IFC. This investment
will help create employment and boost business activity in the region,”
added Michael Ascoli, Chairman of LAPCO.
The IFC investment will improve the
supply, quality, and price competitiveness of the paint supplied by LAPCO
to its 6,700 micro and small business paint distributors all across Central
America. It will also strengthen a local linkages program in Honduras where
LAPCO works with more than 50 cooperatives (approximately 3,000 farmers)
to supply pine sap, helping the communities use their forests in a sustainable
The replacement of the old plant with a newer more efficient plant will
decrease energy consumption and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,700
tons equivalent annually at current production levels. Moreover, LAPCO’s
cleaner production goal is to reduce volatile organic compounds to 50 grams
per liter of paint from the current 75 grams per liter.
This company's expansion into a rural area of Guatemala will create jobs
in an area where unemployment is very high,” said Dimitris Tsitsiragos,
IFC Director for Global Manufacturing and Services. “We are glad to have
this opportunity to support a competitive manufacturing company with a
positive impact on the community and on the regional economy," Mr.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk
mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled US$14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
LAPCO Corporation S.A., a Central American company, is the regional market
leader in the production and distribution of paint and ancillary products
in Central America, with company owned operations in each country, selling
its brands Corona, Paleta and Sytec, through three main distribution channels,
6,400 hardware stores and mass merchandisers, 70 company owned paint stores
and a B2B structure.