The EBRD and IFC have provided a US$18 million
(€17 million) loan to Ambro S.A., the largest private Romanian pulp and
paper mill owned by Sical, an international packaging group based in France.
The project, with a total cost of US$68 million (€64.7 million), will
enable the company to modernise its pulp and paper production facilities
and to improve environmental conditions at the plant in northern Romania.
The project should double capacity and increase efficiency, allowing Ambro
to meet the growing domestic demand for kraft paper and sacks and to increase
its export sales to neighboring countries.
Harold Rosen, IFC's Director for Central and Southern Europe, said the
investment would support one of Romania's key resource-based industries
by making the company more competitive and setting new industry environmental
standards for the region.
Olivier Descamps, the EBRD's Business Group Director for Southern and Eastern
Europe and the Caucasus, said: "the project promotes the transition
process in Romania by supporting private ownership and developing management
know-how and new technology through the involvement of an international
Daniel Forget, Sical's Chief Executive Officer, said: "The financing
from EBRD and the IFC is an important milestone for Ambro's growth and
for Sical group's strategy in Central and Eastern Europe".
Ambro S.A. is a large integrated pulp and paper mill, producing kraft paper,
corrugated board packaging and sacks, strategically located in Suceava,
in the forested area of northern Romania. Sical, which is quoted on the
Paris stock exchange, acquired Ambro as part of the first wave of privatisation
in Romania in 1996 and has implemented an investment plan to increase capacity
and quality of production.
The EBRD was established in 1991 following the collapse of communism, to
aid the transition from centrally-planned to market economies in central
and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The
EBRD is owned by 60 shareholders: 58 countries, the European Investment
Bank, and the European Community, and operates with €20 billion in authorized
capital. Since its inception, the EBRD has committed more than €1.3 billion
to Romania, about 10 percent of the Bank's total portfolio of commitments.
To date, the Bank has approved five projects in the pulp and paper sector.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private
sector investment in developing countries, which will 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 first investment in Romania in 1992, IFC has approved US$300
million in investments in 14 projects in Romania's manufacturing, services
and banking sectors.