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IFC TO FINANCE HONDURAN MANUFACTURING AND AGRIBUSINESS COMPANY


Amy Conran
Phone: (202) 473-9119
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: aconran@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 26—The International Finance Corporation (IFC) today signed a US$55 million investment agreement with Corporacion Cressida, S.A. de C.V., a highly-integrated manufacturing and agribusiness company based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The IFC financing will support a US$84 million investment program being undertaken by Cressida to establish a new production facility and upgrade and modernize its existing plants.

The investment program includes the establishment of a production complex for soaps, detergents, and edible-oils. Cressida will also expand and modernize its soaps and detergents facility in El Salvador and its food, drinks, and snacks plants in Honduras. Moreover, the investment program will result in significant environmental improvements by closing Cressida's antiquated facilities and bringing all new and existing facilities in line with World Bank Group environmental guidelines.


"The expansion of Cressida will promote entrepreneurial development and corporate governance by assisting a Central American company in its transition from a family run enterprise into a modern corporation," said Mr. Helmut Paul, Director, IFC. "We expect that Cressida's expansion will create approximately 800 jobs in the region, while simultaneously increasing the firm's competitiveness."


Cressida is a leading Honduran business group with operations throughout Central America. The Company is the largest soaps, detergents, and tomato-based goods manufacturer in the Central America and Panama region.


IFC's investment consists of a US$15 million loan and a US$10 million subordinated convertible loan for its own account, and US$30 million loan for the account of participating banks.


Present at the signing ceremony in Tegucigalpa were Mr. Miguel Facusse, Cressida's President and Chairman of the Board; Mr. Hugh Henry-May, Manager, IFC; members of Cressida's Board of Directors; as well as Honduran private sector and government representatives.


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing countries.