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IFC ARRANGES LOAN SYNDICATION FOR SIGMA ALIMENTOS IN MEXICO


Mauricio Perea
(202) 473-7997


WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 2 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) today signed a financing agreement totaling US$57 million for Sigma Alimentos S.A. de C.V., the leading producer and distributor of processed meats in Mexico. This is IFC's second project signing since the peso devaluation of last December. The financing package includes a syndicated loan of US$32 million arranged by IFC. Five international commercial banks -- Rabobank Nederland, ABN-AMRO, Comerica Bank, Société Generale, and Banque et Caisse de l'Epargne de l'Etat -- are participating in the syndication. The amount of the syndicated loan is well over the original target of US$20 million. "The great success of this syndication shows that international lenders, as well as IFC, continue to have confidence in the viability of the Mexican private sector," according to Mr. Helmut Paul, Director of IFC's Latin America and the Caribbean Department. "It also demonstrates that competitive Mexican companies are still attractive to international inv
estors." In addition, IFC is providing a loan of US$20 million and an equity investment of up to US$5 million, both for its own account. The financing is for a US$68 million investment program through which Sigma is modernizing and expanding its food processing and distribution facilities. In addition, the company, a subsidiary of Alfa S.A. de C.V., is expanding its product lines into other refrigerated processed foods like yogurt, cheese, and prepared meals. This is IFC's second investment in Sigma. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the leading multilateral source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing countries.