Washington, D.C., February 8, 2006
— The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group, signed an agreement to invest $10 million in equity in
GeoPark Holdings Limited, an independent oil and gas producer with operations
in Argentina and Chile.
IFC’s financial support will help the company in the early stage of development
by strengthening its capital base and refining its corporate governance
practices. IFC will also play an important role in helping GeoPark
identify opportunities for community development near its operations in
both countries. In addition, IFC will assist the company in establishing
an integrated environmental, health, safety, and social management system,
in line with both World Bank Group standards and international best practices.
IFC expects to follow-up the equity investment with a long-term loan to
GeoPark of up to $20 million.
“We are delighted to partner with GeoPark in an investment that helps
Argentina and Chile optimize their use of natural resources by developing
much needed oil and gas reserves,” said Somit Varma, Associate Director
of IFC’s Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals Department. He added, “We
are happy to work with a company that has sought to adopt international
standards on corporate governance and environmental and social management
practices. This partnership fits well with IFC’s strategy.”
“We are pleased to partner with IFC at this important stage in our development.
IFC’s investment and vast international and industry experience
will accelerate our internal growth, expand our acquisition opportunities,
provide valuable guidance on community engagement and other best practices
and differentiate GeoPark as a competitive regional player” said James
F. Park, Chief Executive Officer of GeoPark. “We found the IFC investment
process – from start to close – to be quick and responsive”, he added.
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates
its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but
is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries
provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment
in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve
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 FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own
funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140
developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was
$19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants
in loan syndications. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
GeoPark currently operates three blocks in Argentina and one block in Chile.
The Del Mosquito, Cerro Dona Juana and Loma Cortaderal blocks in
Argentina are located in the Neuquen and Austral basins, respectively,
and are fully owned by the Company, while the Fell block in Chile is located
in the Magallanes region and is 90 percent owned by GeoPark, with the remaining
interest held by Empresa Nacional de Petróleo, the Chilean state-owned
oil and gas company. For more information, visit: www.geo-park.com.