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IFC Provides $35 Million to One of the Largest Exporters in Uruguay


Adriana Gomez
Phone: (202) 458-5204

Fax: (202) 974-4384

E-mail:
agomez@ifc.org


Washington D.C., May 23, 2002—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector development arm of the World Bank Group, approved a loan of up to US$35 million to support the expansion and modernization plans of Conaprole, Uruguay’s second largest private company and one of the largest exporter.  With this investment, IFC is showing a vote of confidence in Uruguay’s private sector.

Conaprole (Cooperativa Nacional de Productores de Leche -National Cooperative of Milk Producers) is Uruguay’s leading dairy processor, employing more than 1,700 workers and processing about 70 percent of the country’s raw milk production. More than a third of the cooperative’s revenues are derived from exports, mainly to Latin America.


IFC’s long-term financing will help Conaprole modernize and rationalize its industrial, logistic and distribution operations.  It will also help strengthen the competitiveness, financial viability, corporate governance and environmental standards of the Cooperative.


Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s director of the Latin America and Caribbean Department, said:  “The investment in Conaprole is consistent with IFC’s strategy to support export-oriented projects in Uruguay.  IFC remains committed to providing much-needed long-term finance to companies that have a clear contribution to the economy of Uruguay.  IFC’s financing to Conaprole is another vote of confidence in the development of Uruguay’s private sector, especially in these difficult times.”


Jean Paul Pinard, IFC’s director of the Agribusiness department added: “IFC’s investment  will help strengthen the competitiveness of Conaprole in a sector where Uruguay has a strong comparative advantage.  A stronger financial and operational position will help Conaprole meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive market and will bring clear benefits to the 2,650 local farmers that supply milk to the Cooperative.”


Agribusiness represents 10 percent of Uruguay’s GDP.  IFC’s support of agribusiness and the rural sector in Latin America responds to a recognition of its critical contribution to employment, the economy and its impact on the environment.


IFC’s current portfolio in Uruguay accounts for up to $64 million in sectors such financial services, education, trade finance and agribusiness.


Companies that recently received financing from IFC include Banco Montevideo and Universidad de Montevideo.


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, IFC has 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.