WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 11—The International
Finance Corporation (IFC) today signed investment agreements with FEAL
International and Hilton International for a US$22.3 million financing
package to be used for the establishment of the Sofia Hilton Hotel. The
256-room hotel will be located in the city center and will offer accommodation
and services of first-class international standards.
"We are proud to be affiliated with the Sofia Hilton, a business hotel
which will not only attract international business travelers, investors,
and tourists to the country but will also employ more than 400 local Bulgarians,"
said Mr. Harold Rosen, Director of IFC's Europe I Department. "We
expect this project, which is one of the largest direct foreign investments
in Bulgaria and includes the first IFC syndication in the country, to provide
other foreign investors with confidence in the emerging opportunities in
IFC's financing package consists of loans of up to US$12.8 million for
its own account and a syndicated loan of up to US$9.5 million for the account
of participants. The financial institutions participating in the
syndicated loan include De Nationale Investerinsbank (the Netherlands),
RZB-Austria, and Societe Generale (France).
The Sofia Hilton is a joint venture among IFC, FEAL International, Hilton
International, the Municipality of Sofia, and Glavbulgarstroy. FEAL
International S.a., a French real estate development, project management
and construction company, is part of the General des Eaux Group. Hilton
International is a subsidiary of the British Ladbroke Group PLC and manages
over 160 hotel worldwide, and Glavbulgarstroy is the largest construction
company in Bulgaria with extensive activities in CIS countries
To date, IFC has approved US$33 million in financing for three projects
in Bulgaria in the capital markets, telecommunications, and hotel sectors.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source
of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing