Washington D.C., June 12, 2001—The International
Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group,
will invest US$7.8 million to expand and modernize the production facilities
of EPIQ Electronic Assembly Ltd (EPIQ-EA). IFC’s financing will
support the government’s efforts to attract foreign investment and will
help increase confidence in Bulgaria’s economic outlook.
EPIQ-EA’s expansion plan, estimated to cost $20.7 million, involves the
construction of a new building in the existing industrial site in Botevgrad.
It also includes modernization and expansion of the company’s manufacturing
and assembly operations.
The loan agreement was signed by Mr. Khosrow Zamani, Director of IFC’s
Southern Europe & Central Asia Department, who said that the investment
will demonstrate how a previously state-owned enterprise can be transformed
into a highly efficient and profitable private sector company. Mr.
Zamani added that the new financing directly addresses the Bulgarian industrial
sector’s critical need for long-term investments.
By supporting this well-managed Bulgarian production facility, IFC will
help promote local production of high-tech devices in the manufacturing
sector of electronic household, automotive and telecom appliances. The
expansion plan is expected to triple EPIQ-EA’s current production and
will generate a significant number of new jobs in the Botevgrad region,
which now faces high unemployment.
EPIQ-EA, subsidiary of the EPIQ Group, was founded in 1997, and is owned
by EPIQ-NV, a public limited company registered in Diepenbeek, Belgium.
EPIQ-EA currently employs 500 people. ELEX N.V. Belgium and
EPIQ-N.V., European leaders in electronic manufacturing, are the sponsors
of the project.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org),
part of the World Bank Group (www.worldbank.org),
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries
as a way 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.
Today, IFC is the largest multilateral source of loan and equity financing
for private sector projects in the developing world.