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IFC Investment in Salala Rubber to Help Boost Liberia’s Agribusiness, Increase Rural Employment


In Monrovia, Liberia:
Jumoke Jagun
Phone: +231 6 606 967
E-mail: jjagun@ifc.org

In Washington, D.C.:
Samuel Dzotefe
Phone: +1(202) 458-5179
E-mail: sdzotefe@ifc.org

In Johannesburg, South Africa:
Houtan Bassiri
Phone: +27 11 7313179
E-mail: hbassiri@ifc.org


Washington, D.C./Monrovia, July 21, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide long-term financing to Salala Rubber, one of Liberia’s leading rubber companies, to help rehabilitate and expand its plantations, optimize processing capacity, and increase employment. The $10 million, 11-year loan is IFC’s largest agribusiness investment to date in this post-conflict country.

Salala Rubber will use part of the funds to develop and upgrade social infrastructure that was damaged during Liberia’s civil conflict. The loan’s long tenor will provide the company with the flexibility to invest in rubber trees, which typically start producing latex in their seventh year after planting.

“IFC’s financing will help expedite the rehabilitation of our plantations and allow us to make critical upgrades to worker housing, clinics, and schools,” said John Hawkins, Salala Rubber Corporation’s Board Chairman. “This investment is a vote of confidence in our company.”

“Developing agribusiness in Liberia and other post-conflict countries is a priority for IFC. The sector has the potential to create significant rural employment and generate income,” said Imoni Akpofure, Acting IFC Director for Africa.

“IFC is keen on developing the agribusiness sector in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Oscar Chemerinski, IFC Director for Agribusiness. “This financing to the Salala Rubber Corporation demonstrates our confidence in Liberia’s economy and the future of the sector.”

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About the Salala Rubber Corporation

Salala Rubber Corporation is an integrated rubber producing and processing company, established from a merger in July 2007 between Weala Rubber Company, a rubber processing factory, and the former Salala Rubber Corporation, a standalone rubber tree plantation. The company purchases up to 80 percent of its rubber requirements from farmers in rural areas. It also exports semi-processed rubber to several global tire manufacturers.