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IFC Provides US$10 Million to LAPCO to Support Employment in Rural Part of Guatemala


In Washington DC:
Adriana Gomez

Phone: +1 202 458 5204

E-mail:
agomez@ifc.org

In London:
Carmen Powell
Phone: +44 207 286 5439
E-mail:
cpowell@ifc.org


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 manner.

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. Tsitsiragos added.


About IFC

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.

About LAPCO

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.