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IFC PROVIDES FINANCING OF US$114 MILLION FOR ARGENTINE CEMENT PLANT


L. Joseph
Phone: (202) 473-7700
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: ljoseph@ifc.org


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 sector.
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.