Zagreb, July 19, 2006- The International
Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group,
has provided a 40 million Euro loan to two subsidiaries of Agrokor, a leading
food and retail group in Croatia, to support the on-going restructuring
and expansion plans for PIK Vrbovec and Belje, subsidiaries that Agrokor
acquired last year. PIK Vrbovec and Belje add meat production and farming
capacity to Agrokor’s existing core businesses.
IFC’s financing terms have been tailored to best match the project’s
needs and will enable key investments to be made at PIK Vrbovec and Belje,
with a focus on production quality, capacity expansion, efficiency, productivity
and improvement in the cost structure of both companies.
“IFC is pleased to support Agrokor’s investments to improve the operational
efficiency of recently privatized assets. Under Agrokor’s management,
the project should ensure PIK Vrbovec’s and Belje’s financial and environmental
sustainability”, said Edward Nassim, IFC’s Regional Vice President for
Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Collaboration between Agrokor and IFC will also continue through upgrades
of operational standards, quality management systems, and occupational
health and safety in line with EU standards.
“This long-term financing demonstrates the confidence of one of the world's
leading financial institutions in Agrokor, understanding our vision and
strategy and supporting our rationale for investing in PIK Vrbovec and
Belje.” said Ivica Todoric, President of Agrokor.
Agrokor, a Croatian Group (www.agrokor.hr),
is the leading regional food company and retailer, with consolidated sales
revenues for 2005 amounting to EUR 1,700 million equivalent. The group
employs about 20,000 people, mostly in Croatia, but also in several other
countries of the region where Agrokor has been expanding in its core businesses.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition
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, helps clients improve social
and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and
advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through
FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged
$24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries.
IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its
own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.