Kiev, Ukraine, May 20, 2013—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is investing in Axzon, a leading Eastern
European pork producer, to support the company’s expansion in Ukraine.
The investment will also facilitate the construction of new biogas plants
in Poland, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and showcase
the benefits of sustainable agriculture.
IFC is providing Axzon with a financing
package of up to €54 million in debt and equity. The company’s expansion
will help it tap into Ukraine’s growing – and undersupplied – pork market
and create hundreds of jobs in the rural western region of Ivano-Frankivsk.
Additionally, IFC’s financing will support the construction of three biogas
power plants in Poland, which will turn animal waste into energy. Axzon
is the largest producer of biogas-based energy in the country.
“The world’s population is expanding
and we as agricultural producers need to satisfy not only a growing need
for food products but also a need for energy,” said Tom Axelgaard, Axzon’s
Chief Executive Officer. “Together with IFC, we will be able to take further
steps to expand and grow.”
This agreement is IFC’s fifth deal
in Ukraine’s agribusiness sector so far this financial year.
“Helping Ukraine realize its potential
in agribusiness is at the core of IFC’s work here,” said Rufat Alimardanov,
IFC’s Regional Head for Ukraine and Belarus. “We hope this project will
promote better standards in Ukraine’s meat producing sector and will also
showcase the benefits of biogas plants."
Axzon is expected to double its production
in Ukraine as it expands. The project will also help reduce greenhouse
gas emissions in Poland and Ukraine. The group is emitting about 44,000
less tons of carbon-dioxide per year than it would without the biogas energy
efficiency measures. That is equivalent to saving 93,000 barrels of gasoline
per year. The new biogas facilities will cut up to 29,000 tons of carbon-dioxide
Dragon Capital, a leading Ukrainian
investment bank, acted as a financial adviser for Axzon on the transaction.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial
markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.
In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation,
and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.
Axzon was founded in 1994 in Poland
as a successful attempt of Danish farmers to set up a large-scale pig production
in the fast growing emerging market to capitalize on the know-how and expertise
in pig breeding originated in Denmark. It entered the Ukrainian market
in 2003. Axzon is a top-three pork producer both in Poland and Ukraine.
Its environmentally friendly operations include pig farming, slaughtering
and meat processing, crop growing, feed milling, and biogas production.
For more information, visit http://www.axzon.eu/en/home