Press Releases
print

IFC Investment to Help Brazilian Bank Reach Small and Medium Enterprises


For more information
Karina Manasseh
Phone: (55 11) 5185-6881
E-mail: kmanasseh@ifc.org

Washington, D.C., January 29, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement to provide financing to Brazil’s Banco Sofisa S.A. that will help the bank expand its credit activities and serve smaller companies in less developed areas.

The total investment amount is $ 185 million, consisting of a seven-year  $30 million equivalent real-indexed note and a $155 million syndicated loan, which IFC and the joint bookrunner Banco Itaś Europa/Itaś BBA syndicated to 18 international banks. This will help Sofisa play a more effective role in developing Brazil’s private sector, especially through lending to small and medium enterprises. The syndicated loan is the third for a midsize Brazilian bank that IFC and Banco Itaś Europa/Itaś BBA have led since September 2007. The syndication attracted a diverse group of international and regional banks from 11 countries. It included the longest syndicated loan transaction for a midsize Brazilian bank, with final maturity of five years, and was oversubscribed by more than 50 percent.  

“We are pleased to partner with IFC at this decisive stage of our growth and during such a volatile market environment. The strong support we have received from a wide range of banks globally was important in making our first international deal a success,” said Ricardo Simone Pereira, CFO of Banco Sofisa.  “Our relationship with IFC will allow us to explore new investment opportunities, enabling our sustainable growth and making banking services available to more enterprises in Brazil.”

“IFC has a catalytic role in supporting midsize banks in Brazil because of our knowledge of the local banking sector and ability to mobilize capital in the international markets. Despite international market volatility, this syndication brings together international banks from developed countries and emerging markets,” said Andrew Gunther, IFC General Manager for Brazil.  “Banco Sofisa’s professionalism and solid reputation make it a strategic partner for IFC as we seek to deepen our impact in Brazil.  In this particular deal, being close to the client was fundamental to understanding their needs, as well as for processing a complex transaction in a short timeframe.”

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Banco Sofisa
Banco Sofisa is a leading midsize bank in Brazil that focuses on commercial banking and consumer loans. Founded in 1961, the bank is controlled by the Burmaian family and has been trading on the BOVESPA stock exchange since May 2007. As of September 30, 2007, Banco Sofisa had reached $465 million in equity and $1.9 billion in total assets. For more information, visit www.sofisa.com.br.