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IFC Invests $30 Million in San Miguel, Argentina


In Washington:
Corrie Shanahan

Phone: +1 (202) 473 2258

Email:
cshanahan@ifc.org



Washington D.C., June 17, 2005 — The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is providing a $30 million loan to S.A. San Miguel A.G.I.C.I. y F., the leading lemon producer in Argentina. The loan is to support San Miguel’s overall plantation and industrial operations and to finance permanent working capital as well as a sophisticated industrial waste treatment system.

San Miguel, an Argentine company, produces lemons on its 5,500 hectares of agricultural land in the province of Tucumán. From its own production, as well as that of third parties, San Miguel exports over 120,000 tons of lemons, 35 percent of Argentina´s lemon exports, and a further 30,000 tons of oranges, including mandarins, through a subsidiary in Uruguay. The company also processes over 220,000 tons of fruit to produce frozen lemon juice concentrate, essential oil, and dried peel ay its state-of-the-art plant in Famailla, Tucumán.


IFC long term financing consists of US$20 million for its own account and a syndicated loan of $10 million. IFC is pleased to collaborate on this transaction with Rabobank International, who has fully subscribed the syndicated loan.


Atul Mehta, IFC’s director for Latin America, said, “The agro-industrial sector has been and continues to be a key sector for the Argentine economy’s recovery, and we are pleased to have provided support directly and to have mobilized funding for this sector throughout the crisis.”


Carlos Miguens, chairman of San Miguel, said, “We are very pleased with this new financing by IFC. San Miguel is the largest private employer in Tucumán, with over 6,000 workers at harvest time. This new long-term financing represents an important milestone for our company and our future plans.”


IFC’s director for agribusiness, Jean-Paul Pinard, added, “Argentine exporting companies are competing on a global basis. IFC is pleased to provide reliable access to long-term financing to its clients in the country and allow them to keep up with international competition. San Miguel is a leading player in the lemon industry, a sector where Argentina has a competitive advantage, and which IFC is therefore keen to support.”


Since the start of the financial crisis in Argentina, IFC has played an essential role by supporting its clients in the private sector. IFC remained engaged in the country throughout the crisis, providing nearly $400 million in financing from June 2002 to date.


The mission of IFC
(www.ifc.org ) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in the developing countries and to help for the reduction of poverty and improvement of people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries.  IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.