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IFC TO FINANCE MODERNIZATION OF MEXICAN CERAMIC TILE PRODUCER


Mauricio Perea
(202) 473-7997


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a loan and quasi-equity investment agreement that enables Internacional de Ceramica, S.A. de C.V. (Interceramic), Mexico's leading producer of glazed ceramic floor tiles, to gain access to international long-term bank finance for the first time. IFC is providing a US$15 million loan and a quasi-equity investment of up to $6 million for its own account and has also syndicated a $17.5 million loan with three banks -- Comerica Bank, Deutsche Bank, and ING Bank. "The growth of medium-sized companies like Interceramic will be important for Mexico," according to Mr. Helmut Paul, Director of IFC's Latin America and Caribbean Department. "The opening of the economy and the implementation of NAFTA are heightening the need for Mexican manufacturers to modernize their factories, expand capacity, and increase efficiency. This financing agreement is consistent with IFC's strategy of expanding local manufacturers' access to the internation
al financial markets, which will help them meet their long-term financing needs." Interceramic's US$55.8 million investment program will help the company broaden its product lines. A highlight of the program will involve the construction of a new wall-tile plant, Azulejos, which will employ state-of-the-art automated technology and allow Interceramic to meet strong demand in this rapidly growing Mexican market segment. Thanks in part to its technological leadership in product development and production, Interceramic is Mexico's leading exporter of ceramic tiles to the United States. IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and the largest multilateral source of financing for private sector projects in developing countries.