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
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.