Washington, D.C., January 11, 2010—
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, restructured its existing debt investment
of $9.3 million in Trinidad and Tobago’s Unicell Paper Mills Caribbean
Ltd, (now Grand Bay Paper Products Ltd) the leading Caribbean tissue paper
manufacturer, to help maintain employment opportunities and boost business
Unicell is the largest paper mill in
the Caribbean with a capacity of about 30,000 tons a year. Exports
make up about half of Unicell’s annual sales of roughly $30 million. IFC
invested in Unicell in 2001 to build a greenfield paper mill. The
global financial crisis and drying up of credit lines led the company into
a liquidity crisis. The debt restructuring is expected to secure
150 direct jobs and about five times as many indirect ones, and to grow
Unicell’s operations and boost industrial productivity in the region.
“We truly appreciate IFC’s support
to Unicell and partnership in such challenging times,” said Gonzalo Alvarez,
Director of Grand Bay Paper Products. “It is an important endorsement
of our future strategic development and to the region’s social and economic
IFC also was the lead negotiator in
structuring a new $10.5 million working capital facility from RBTT Bank,
First Citizens Bank, and the Export-Import Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.
As part of the debt restructuring process, ownership of Unicell has
been transferred to Grand Bay International, a leading Latin American paper
“This restructuring represents the
next step in our long-term relationship with Unicell and its new shareholders.
It will maintain jobs, foster growth, and generate export revenues
for the country,” said Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Director for Global Manufacturing
In addition, IFC, in collaboration with
Citigroup, executed interest rate swap transactions, with Unicell These
include IFC executing a long-term United States dollar interest rate
swap (from variable to fixed), and the first Trinidad and Tobago dollar
interest rate swap. The swaps will allow the company to improve control
of its cash flow and eliminate interest rate risk.
Since its founding in 1956, IFC has
committed $1.25 billion in the Caribbean’s private sector. IFC’s
strategy aims to diversify the economies and strengthen private sector
competitiveness to stimulate economic growth and job creation. IFC
supports private sector participation in infrastructure and assists local
companies expand within and beyond the region.
IFC is the only international financial
institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable
development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking
a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for
the poor in developing countries, including by fostering sustainable economic
growth in the Caribbean through private sector development.
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 private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5
billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries
during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Grand Bay International
Grand Bay International is part of the
Kruger family’s interests in South America. Montreal-based Kruger Inc.
is one of the largest privately-owned paper and forestry products companies
in Canada. Grand Bay International has operations in Colombia, Guatemala,
Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.. Grand Bay was advised by Miami-based