SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA, April 21, 1999 –
The International Finance Corporation today signed an agreement to invest
US$40 million in Corporación de Supermercados Unidos (Superunidos), a Costa-Rican
supermarket chain, to bring low-cost, one-stop shopping to consumers in
Central America and the Caribbean.
IFC's investment of a $30 million loan and $10 million in equity will support
the company's expansion program to open more than 200 new discount stores
in El Savador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. Three hypermarkets
and more than 60 discount stores will be opened in Costa Rica. The Superunidos
stores will offer quality food at better prices than regional competitors.
Superunidos will build stores in low-income areas, thereby bringing high
quality products and the convenience of one-stop shopping to a large portion
of the population, said Bernard Pasquier, Senior Manager of Latin America
and the Caribbean, who signed the agreement on behalf of IFC. Apart from
offering savings for consumers, he said, the expansion would create at
least 2,500 entry-level jobs, primarily for women and the young with above-average
compensation packages and training for its employees.
Since 1994, IFC has financed eight retail projects and six additional projects
are in preparation. IFC, part of the World Bank group, fosters economic
growth in the developing world by financing private sector investments,
mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing
technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
The Investment Team involved with this project is listed as follows: Fabiana
Feld, Investment Officer, Jean Laprevotte, Investment Officer, Savina Eneva,
Investment Analyst, Cristina Sunkel, Lawyer, and Yazgan Musannif, Engineer.