World Bank continues co-operation with Agrokor
Jun 06, 2008
New Contract on Long-term Financing of PIK Vrbovec and Belje signed in New York
A Contract on Long-term Loan was signed yesterday late in the afternoon in New York between Agrokor d.d. and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank in charge of financing the private sector. The Contract was signed by Mr. Ante Todorić, Executive Vice President for Business Group Retailing on behalf of Agrokor, Mr. Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC's Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, and Mr. Oscar Chemerinski, Director of the Agribusiness Department at the International Finance Corp. IFC is to grant a second loan of EUR 40 million to Agrokor’s subsidiaries acquired in 2005, PIK Vrbovec and Belje, supplementing the EUR 40 million loan already granted to these subsidiaries in July 2006. Long-term financing by IFC will support investments of major importance in order to more than double the production capacity of PIK Vrbovec, to further develop the cattle-crop breeding productivity of Belje and to provide working capital for both companies. By means of the new contract,IFC as a member of the World Bank will strengthen its support to Agrokor for continuation of PIK Vrbovec's and Belje's expansion. "This investment represents IFC’s support and recognition of Agrokor’s business strategy and capacity for the further upgrade of the significant improvements already achieved at PIK Vrbovec and Belje. Agrokor strives to apply the highest world standards in its operations, and these efforts will influence the upgrade of the overall agriculture sector in Croatia," said Mr. Ante Todorić, Executive Vice President for Business Group Retailing. "One of our main priorities is to keep supporting local companies in priority sectors such as food processing, especially companies with potentials for investing in neighbouring countries’’, said Mr. Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC's Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia. "The proposed investment in PIK Vrbovec and Belje is in line with IFC’s strategy for Croatia, and IFC will have pleasure in continuing to support Agrokor, which is an important regional player in the food industry of the region," he added. Co-operation between Agrokor and IFC already encompasses the improvement of both environmental and operational standards; as a result, Belje has recently acquired the Global GAP and HACCP certificates, which are compatible with global industry standards of the best practice regarding safety and traceability of food. "IFC is pleased to support Agrokor’s investments to continue the significant progress generated from the initial investment. PIK Vrbovec and Belje have been transformed from loss-making companies into profitable companies under Agrokor’s leadership. This investment will increase the efficiency of their internationally certified production, aimed at upgrading the local food offer and promotion of sustainability," said Mr. Oscar Chemerinski, Director of the Agribusiness Department at the International Finance Corp.