Washington, D.C., March 19, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with SLC Agrícola,
one of Brazil’s largest agricultural producers, to help the company expand
operations and develop an integrated management system for identifying
environmental and social risks and opportunities.
The $40 million long-term loan of up
to10 years will support SLC Agrícola’s growth plan through the acquisition
and leasing of new cultivable land. The company also plans to expand its
cotton production capacity. Its investment program will help create jobs
and establish farms in areas of Brazil where formal employment is limited,
particularly in the northeast, one of the country’s poorest regions.
This is IFC’s first loan to a Brazilian
company that focuses exclusively on primary agricultural production. “This
financing is very important for SLC Agrícola because of the extended terms
of the loan and the social and environmental enhancements that we will
be able to develop with IFC’s support,” said Laurence Gomes, Financial
and Investor Relations Director for SLC Agrícola.
“IFC has increased its focus on midsize
Brazilian companies, and we support their efforts to improve environmental
practices. We are partnering with SLC Agrícola because of its good corporate
governance and implementation of risk management systems that address social
and environmental issues,” said Andrew Gunther, IFC General Manager in
Brazil. “SLC Agrícola was the first company in the agricultural sector
to open up its capital and to be listed on the BOVESPA Novo Mercado.”
SLC Agrícola offers its employees good
benefits, and it is the only company in the sector that has a profit participation
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 should
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 SLC Agrícola
Founded in 1977, SLC Agrícola produces
agricultural commodities, including cotton, soybeans, corn, and coffee,
at nine production units that are strategically located in five Brazilian
states. Its business model is based on a modern, high-scale production
system with state-of-the-art technology, stringent cost control, and emphasis
on social and environmental responsibility.
SLC Agrícola is part of the SLC Group,
controlled by the Logemann family. It pioneered mechanized agriculture
in Brazil by founding the first automotive harvesters in 1945, which led
to a joint venture with the U.S.-based John Deere Company. Today, the company
is helping strengthen Brazil’s position as a global leader in agriculture.