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MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING SIGNED TO ESTABLISH NEW EQUITY FUND IN THAILAND


L. Joseph
Phone: (202) 473-7700    
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: ljoseph@ifc.org


Bangkok, Thailand, October 28, 1999 — The International Finance Corporation has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Thailand and Lombard Investments, Inc. to establish a US$500 million fund to make equity and quasi-equity investments in commercial businesses in Thailand. The fund will facilitate recovery of Thai enterprises in the wake of the Asian currency crisis.
The fund will invest in existing, competitive, private sector enterprises, including those that are in the process of debt restructuring. It will also invest in enterprises that are being privatized. Depending on deal flow and investor interest, the fund may target a total size of $1 billion. The first closing is expected to take place in the first quarter of the year 2000.
The Thai Ministry of Finance will arrange a commitment of $200 million from Thai institutions, IFC will commit $75 million, and Lombard is expected to arrange $150 million. All commitments are subject to relevant approvals, negotiations, and documentation. The remaining $75 million will be raised from institutional investors.
A new fund management company will be established with Lombard as the majority shareholder. IFC and Lombard will work together as joint sponsors to structure the fund and the fund management company, establish the management team, and identify other investors.
Lombard is a U.S.-headquartered private equity investment manager pursuing investments throughout Asia and North America. Organized in 1985, the firm has made more than fifty investments in eight countries, including several recent ones in Thailand. Lombard and its affiliates maintain offices in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Taipei.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will 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.
This press release does not constitute an offer of securities. Any future offering of securities will not be registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission or any state regulatory authority, and the securities may not be offered or sold within the US or to, or for the account of, US persons, absent such registration or an available exemption.