Washington, D.C., April 15, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is making a $50 million equity investment
in Packages Limited, Pakistan’s largest paper and board producer, to support
a socially responsible company that directly provides jobs for nearly 3,500
people and indirectly employs about 27,000 people.
The investment will help Packages Limited enhance its capital base, improve
cost competitiveness, and strengthen its ability to handle the effects
of the global economic crisis. With IFC’s support, the company will also
undertake several programs designed to have a positive impact on climate
change. The programs include increased waste-paper collection and the installation
of waste-heat recovery systems and closed-loop systems for water at company
Michael Essex, IFC’s Director for Middle East and North Africa, said:
"This investment underscores IFC's commitment to providing its clients
with capital and other support to help them comfortably withstand the current
global economic crisis."
Syed Babar Ali, Advisor to Packages, said: “The IFC equity investment
supports the Packages Group’s commitment to sound and transparent financial
systems and promoting environmental and social values. This is the fourth
time that Packages has received an equity investment from IFC, and it is
indeed a reflection of the long-term relationship between Packages and
the IFC, whose standards we respect and uphold."
The investment will allow Packages Limited to improve efficiency in water
and steam usage, thus reducing operating cost and improving competitiveness.
IFC’s continued financing in the current difficult markets will help sustain
local employment and support the company’s community development initiatives,
such as the upgrading of nine schools and the provision of fresh water.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Packages Limited, established in 1956 as a joint venture between the Ali
Group of Pakistan and Akerlund and Rausing of Sweden, is the largest integrated
pulp and paper and paper board producer in Pakistan. It is the only
local supplier of consistent, premium quality packaging solutions for its
consumer industry related clients. For more information, visit www.packages.com.pk.