Press Releases

IFC Invests $100 Million in Major Colombian Beverage Company, Bavaria

IFC in Washington D.C.:
Adriana Gomez
Phone:  (202) 458-5204

Fax:  (202) 974-4384


IFC in Colombia:

Paolo Martelli

IFC's Resident Representative

Phone:  (571) 326 20 85


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 BAVAR CB.

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 ( 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 and businesses.

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.