Washington D.C., July 2, 2002—The International
Finance Corporation, the private sector development arm of the World Bank
Group, has arranged a US$280 million investment to strengthen the financial
structure of Construtora Norberto Odebrecht (CNO), the largest Brazilian
engineering and construction company.
IFC is providing a loan for its own account of up to $80 million and arranged
a syndicated B loan of up to $165 million for the account of participant
banks. Banc of America Securities joined the syndicated B loan as
Senior Lead Arranger and Joint Book Manager; Caterpillar Financial Services
Corporation and Brasilian American Merchant Bank (a subsidiary of Banco
do Brasil) joined as Lead Arrangers; Caixa Geral de Depositos S.A and International
Finance Participation Trust participated as Co-Arrangers; and Banco Espirito
Santo S.A., Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo, Credit Lyonnais and IKB Deutsche
Industriebank AG joined as Participants.
In addition, IFC helped mobilize a local currency parallel loan of $35
million equivalent to be provided by HSBC Bank Brasil S.A. – Banco Multiplo,
Banco de Investimentos Credit Suisse First Boston S.A., Unibanco S.A. and
Banco Credit Lyonnais Brasil S.A..
“The investment in CNO exemplifies our continued support to Brazilian
companies that are major private sector economic actors and employers.
It also shows that IFC is committed to assist companies in emerging
markets which are having limited access to long term financing under the
current market conditions”, said Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s Director of
the Latin America and Caribbean Department. Mr. Pasquier added: “This
investment will also help demonstrate the benefits of improved corporate
governance practices and transparency, and will support the Brazilian government’s
efforts in this area.”
Paul Altit, Chief Financial Officer of CNO, said: “We are very pleased
with this important strategic investment which will strengthen Odebrecht’s
relationship with IFC and the participant banks at an opportune time. This
investment will permit CNO to continue to enhance its qualifications as
a diversified engineering and construction company and to finance its ongoing
activities, principally in Latin America and Africa”.
CNO, founded in 1945 in the Northeastern State of Bahia, provides state
of the art technical expertise in the design and construction of large
scale projects, including highways, railways, bridges, tunnels, subways,
buildings, port facilities, dams, as well as mining facilities, steel mills,
cement plants, among others. CNO undertakes projects in all regions
of Brazil as well as in most South American countries, Central America,
Europe, the United States and Africa. CNO is a subsidiary of Odebrecht
S.A., one of the largest Brazilian private-sector conglomerates in terms
of revenues and Brazil’s leading service exporter.
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 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.