Washington D.C., July 1, 2002—The International
Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector development arm of the World
Bank Group, will support the modernization and expansion of Bogota-based
Bavaria S.A, the largest beverage manufacturer and distributor in Colombia,
Ecuador and Panama, and the fourth largest brewer in Latin America.
IFC is investing US$100 million for its own account and, together with
JP Morgan Chase and Citibank, is arranging a syndicated loan for Bavaria.
IFC and Bavaria have also joined forces to develop a comprehensive
new corporate governance code for the company. This code incorporates
international best practices and will establish an important benchmark
in Colombia and Latin America. The IFC financing and advisory support
is designed to assist Bavaria with its ongoing modernization and expansion
program and will position the company to access domestic and international
capital markets on a sustained basis.
“IFC is very pleased to partner with Bavaria in this investment,” said
Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s Director of the Latin America and Caribbean Department.
“The measures that Bavaria is undertaking in conjunction with its
investment program reflect the recognition by important Latin American
companies of the need to take the lead in adopting international standards
of transparency and governance. These measures should result in the
strengthening of local capital markets by increasing the confidence and
trust of domestic and international investors,” he added.
Paolo Martelli, IFC’s Regional Representative for the Andean region added:
“This investment highlights IFC’s commitment to support the private sector
in the Andean and Central American regions, which is key to economic advancement.
IFC’s financing will support Bavaria’s program of investments in
these regions and will facilitate the transfer of modern business management
practices and efficiency enhancing technologies.”
Ricardo Obregón, President of Bavaria, said: “We are extremely proud and
excited to have partnered with the IFC. This signals the beginning
of a long and fruitful business relationship, as Bavaria embarks on an
ambitious expansion plan to consolidate its market position in the region.
We are counting on the IFC to support us in our efforts to implement
best practices in terms of corporate governance and environmental and social
policies, and to advise us in our ongoing efforts to modernize the company.”
Bavaria S.A. is the largest beverage company in Colombia and the fourth
largest brewer in Latin America. Its Aguila, Costeña y Club Colombia
brands are leaders in Colombia. In Ecuador, Bavaria is the market
leader with the Pilsener, Club, and Dorada brews. It is also number
one in Panama with the Atlas and Balboa brands. Bavaria also sells
fruit beverages and mineral water. In addition to its core business,
the company actively promotes community and social programs. The
company is listed on the Mercado de Valores de Colombia under the symbol
IFC’s current portfolio in Colombia amounts to $123 million. Since its
first approval in 1959, IFC has financed more than 80 projects in Colombia.
IFC has been working closely with the Colombian government
and the private sector to improve securities regulations and to develop
private sector corporate governance codes.
IFC’s mission (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing 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, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments
Since its founding in 1956 through the close of the last fiscal year on
June 30, 2001, IFC committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and
arranged $20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing
countries. IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.