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IFC Supports Expansion of Egyptian Beverage Bottling Company


In Cairo:
Egidio Germanetti
Phone: +20 2 461 9140/45/50
Email: egermanetti@ifc.org


Cairo, June 26, 2006 – The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will provide financing of $14 million to support the expansion of Société Nationale d’Industries Nutritives S.A.E., or Sonut, a bottling company that produces Schweppes carbonated soft drinks and natural water.

IFC’s loan will support Sonut’s two-year investment program of $28 million. The program plans to launch the use of 330ml-sized returnable glass bottles, which are becoming the industry standard in Egypt and globally. It will also increase the company’s PET-bottling capacity for natural bottled water and provide working capital to help Sonut achieve its growth targets.

Oscar Chemerinski, Manager of IFC’s Agribusiness Department, commented, “IFC is pleased to support the expansion of Sonut, an innovative local producer and distributor of soft drinks and bottled water. This investment will help Sonut solidify its position as one of Egypt’s leading carbonated drink bottling companies.”

Michael Essex, IFC’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, added, “IFC’s investment in Sonut is aligned with our strategy to support Egypt’s expanding agribusiness sector, which includes food and beverages.”

Sonut is committed to environmental and social sustainability.  It has implemented quality management systems and obtained several international certifications, such as the International Standard Organization 9001 and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system. Sonut operates under a bottling franchise agreement with Schweppes Holding Limited of Atlantic Industries, a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company Export Corporation. The company aims to work with IFC’s Private Enterprise Partnership in the region and become IFC’s first private sector client in Egypt to implement a corporate governance enhancement program.

Sami Saad, Chairman of Société Nationale d’Investissement S.A.E., the holding company for Sonut, commented, “The Sonut investment is important for the group’s long-term cooperation with IFC as a possible financing partner for other operations.”

“IFC’s experience in developing the global agribusiness industry will help us achieve its ambitious targets and expand our food, beverage, and confectionery product lines,” added Bassel Saad, Sonut’s Chairman.

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.