WASHINGTON, D.C., May 7, 1999 --- The
International Finance Corporation has invested US$114 million in Juan Minetti,
one of Argentina's major cement companies.
The investment will support the construction of a clinker grinding plant
in Campana to produce one of the main ingredients in cement, which will
supply the Buenos Aires market. The project also includes environmental
and technical improvements, working capital investments, and restructuring
of short-term debt.
IFC has been working with Minetti since 1978, financing earlier expansions
at its plants in Cordoba and Jujuy. The turmoil in the financial markets
led Minetti to ask IFC for help in securing the long-term competitive financing
that it needed.
IFC Director for Latin America, Karl Voltaire, said that the project would
support the growth of other industries, as well as indirectly contribute
to housing, infrastructure and other initiatives related to the construction
Minetti is Argentina's second largest cement producer with five clinker/cement
plants in Córdoba, Jujuy, and Mendoza. It signed an agreement to merge
operations with another Argentine cement producer, Corcemar S.A., four
months ago. The merged company has retained the Minetti name and its headquarters
in Córdoba. One of the world's leading cement producer, Holderbank Financičre
Glaris Ltd., directly or indirectly, has a 45% stake in the new company.
Minetti family members have retained 16% ownership in the Company and the
remaining 39% of the Company is owned by other individuals, corporate shareholders,
and pension funds.
IFC's financing consists of two loans amounting to $44 million for IFC's
own account and a syndicated loan of $70 million for the account of participating
commercial banks and financial institutions.
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing
world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the
international financial markets, and providing technical assistance and
advice to governments and businesses.