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IFC Supports Mexican Company with $30 Million


Adriana Gomez
Phone:  (202) 458-5204

Fax:  (202) 974-4384

E-mail:  
agomez@ifc.org


Operation fits in IFC’s strategy of helping the Mexican private sector gain greater access to external private financing



Washington D.C., May 21, 2002
—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement to provide a US$30 million loan to the Mexican retail company Coppel S.A. de C.V.  The investment will support Coppel’s expansion plans to become a national chain, formalize its credit business and improve its corporate governance standards.


Coppel was created in 1941 when Luis Coppel Rivas established a single store retailing gift articles in the city of Culiacan, in the Northern state of Sinaloa.  Since then, Coppel has grown to a successful retail chain of more than 145 stores, serving low and middle income segments in several regions in Mexico.  Coppel sells a large range of merchandise, and offers an efficient direct credit program, with extended payment periods, for people who have no access to credit cards or other financial aid.


IFC’s ten years financing will support Coppel’s $143 million expansion project to open 58 additional stores in 13 cities around the country, open 8 distribution centers to service the new stores, and build two warehouses in order to optimize transportation costs.


Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “This financing shows IFC’s commitment to support a sound and vibrant private sector in Mexico.  It fits in IFC’s strategy of helping the Mexican private sector gain greater access to external private financing that will help local companies grow, improve their competitiveness and create new jobs.”


Enrique Coppel, Chief Executive Officer of Coppel, added: “Medium sized retailing companies in Mexico lack access to long term finance, and working with IFC will give Coppel the opportunity to continue investing in its operations.  Since Coppel’s strategy is to acquire land and build its own stores, access to long term money is critical at this stage of the project”.


As part of this transaction, IFC will also advice Coppel on how to formalize and enhance its existing credit program, will introduce international industry best practices to further improve its operations and consolidate its market position, and will help the company set up social and environmental policies that comply with World Bank standards, a factor that will be decisive when the company becomes a national chain.  Currently, Coppel is listed on the Mexican stock market.


Since Mexico became a member in 1956, and as of June, 2001, IFC has committed financing in the country for 104 projects, representing a total project cost of US$12.2 billion, with IFC providing $4.2 billion—$2.3 billion for IFC's own account, and $1.9 billion for the account of participant banks. Mexico is IFC’s third largest country portfolio in Latin America with 64 projects (49 companies) representing $730 million.


Projects recently supported by IFC in Mexico include: a natural gas provider for public transportation vehicles, Ecomex,; Mexico’s leading mortgage bank “Hipotecaria Su Casita,” the microfinance entity “Compartamos,” as well as Banorte and “ABC Hospital”, among others.


IFC’s mission (www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing 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, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  Since its founding in 1956, IFC has committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged $20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries.  IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.
Coppel, S.A. de C.V.