Press Releases

IFC Arranges Financing for Leading Retailer in Argentina, Cencosud

In Sao Paulo:
Karina Manasseh
Phone: +55 (11) 5185-6881

In Washington, D.C.:
Carmen Powel
Phone: +1 (202) 473-4982

Washington, D.C., September 29, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement with Cencosud S.A., a leading retailer in Argentina, to support the company’s debt refinancing and investment plans and promote the development of the retail sector in Argentina.

The $140 million loan marks IFC’s second financing for the Cencosud Group since the Argentine financial crisis. Banco Santander, ABN AMRO and BBVA have joined as lead arrangers.

Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Director for Global Manufacturing and Services, said, ”We are strengthening our relationship with Cencosud, an important player in Argentina with a long-term strategy to develop a sustainable business model that will have a catalytic effect in developing local suppliers and producers.”

Cencosud’s CEO, Laurence Golborne, said, “IFC’s financing will help us consolidate our leadership position in Argentina, strengthen our ability to continue growing and provide consumers with a wide range of products at an affordable price. We look forward to a long-term partnership with IFC, which brings a unique expertise and regional experience working with sustainable private companies in Latin America.”

IFC has a longstanding relationship with the Cencosud Group, beginning with an IFC equity investment of $40 million in 2005 toward financing the acquisition of the Disco supermarket chain. Through this investment IFC supported the turnaround of Argentina's second largest supermarket retail chain and one of the largest private-sector employers in the country.

About IFC
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

About Cencosud
Cencosud is one of the largest retailers in Argentina and a key driver of economic activity and job creation in the diverse communities where it operates. It was the pioneer of the large-store home-improvement, or do-it-yourself (“DIY”), retail segment, establishing the first store of this kind in the country in 1993. Currently, Cencosud Argentina has 35 DIY stores under the brand “Easy”, 13 shopping centers and 9 stores specialized in products for bathrooms and kitchens under the brand “Blaisten”.