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WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 22 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved financing of US$51 million for Consolidada Carabobo, C.A., a Venezuelan company with investments in cement, ceramic tiles, and related industries. The financing will enable Consolidada de Cementos, C.A., to upgrade its existing cement plant and increase its capacity to 1.4 million metric tons of Portland cement per year. The company will also expand its ready-mix concrete and cement distribution business. The IFC financing package consists of a US$41 million long-term loan, of which US$12 million will be for IFC's own account and US$29 million has been placed with the following participating commercial banks: Dresdner Bank Luxembourg S.A., ING Bank, WestLB Group, and Banque et Caisse d'Eparne de l'Etat, Luxembourg. In addition, IFC will make a US$10 million equity investment in the shares of Consolidada Carabobo, C.A. The total project cost is estimated at US$99.9 million. The major shareholders in Consolidada Carabobo, C.A.
, are H.L. Boulton S.A.C.A., affiliated companies, and members of the Boulton Group. The main subsidiaries of Consolidada Carabobo, C.A., are Consolidada de Cementos, C.A., and Ceramica Carabobo, C.A. "As a result of Venezuela's strong economic performance and the proximity of the project to its main market and abundant and inexpensive sources of raw materials and energy, the company will be well-positioned to meet the growing demand for cement in the local and regional markets. Consolidada Carabobo, C.A. is also expected to improve its export competitiveness and generate significant foreign exchange earnings," said Helmut Paul, Director of IFC's Latin America and the Caribbean Department. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the largest source of multilateral financing for private sector projects in developing countries. (30)
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