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