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IFC Finances Svoboda to Increase Supply of Household Products in Belarus


In Moscow:
Nezhdana Bukova
Phone: +7 (495) 411 7555
E-mail: nbukova@ifc.org

In London:
Carmen Powell
Phone: +44 (207) 7220649
E-mail: cpowell@ifc.org

Minsk, Belarus, December 20, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are providing Svoboda with $8.5 million in long-term financing to build a new factory in Belarus that will increase the country’s supply of affordable household and personal-care products.

The financing consists of separate long-term loans of $5 million from IFC and $3.5 million from EBRD. Svoboda is building the factory in the small town of Osipovichi, Mogilev region.  The plant will generate more than 100 direct jobs and a significant number of indirect jobs during construction and once the factory is operational in 2011.

“This project builds on our long-term partnership with IFC, and I am sure it will be as successful as our previous joint projects,” said Sergei Levin, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Svoboda.  Levin also held the same positions in two other Belarus projects in which IFC invested—Syabar Brewing Company and Staraya Krepost Juice Company.  

IFC will also advise Svoboda on environmental and social issues and help the company implement international standards for life and fire safety.  With its new plant, Svoboda aims to take the leading position in the domestic market for home detergents and personal-care products.

“We increased our investment portfolio in Belarus in recent years, and with this new project will further expand and diversify it into a new sector,” said Snezana Stoiljkovic, IFC Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “Our strategy in Belarus focuses on supporting viable, innovative projects that meet international standards of transparency, governance and social standards.”

Belarus joined IFC in 1992.  IFC has been actively involved in advisory services in the country since 1993, starting with the privatization of small businesses.  IFC focuses its efforts on investment climate improvement and food safety.  From January 2004 through October 2010, IFC committed more than $250 million to projects in financial, real estate, manufacturing, agribusiness, and other sectors of Belarus’s economy.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
The EBRD, owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, is supporting the development of market economies and democracies in countries from central Europe to central Asia. For more information, visit www.ebrd.com.