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