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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 19, 1998 --- The International Finance Corporation will invest up to US$20 million in one of Korea’s leading food companies, Halim & Co., Ltd., to help it to restructure and ride out the economic crisis.
Halim is a poultry producer with a workforce of more than 1,000 and a network of some 600 farmers who raise broilers under Halim’s supervision. The company has 23 percent of Korea’s broiler market, processing 270,000 chickens a day. Its fully integrated operations range from a feedmill and stock farming to broiler growing and processing. IFC views Halim as a viable company that needs to be restructured in the wake of falling demand and higher price of raw materials.
IFC’s injection of US$20 million -- in the form of equity of about US$6 million and quasi-equity of about US$14 million -- will help refinance short and medium term loans, allow Halim to exercise a lease purchase option, bring accounts payable to date, and provide working capital. This financial restructuring program, totaling about US$40 million, will help Halim through the crisis and allow it to resume its strategy for growth.
Mr. Tei Mante, IFC’s Director for Agribusiness, who signed the agreement in Korea on Oct. 17, said that IFC’s involvement would help improve Halim’s financial health. With a comprehensive and credible restructuring program, other investors will likely follow IFC’s lead with further equity stakes, he added. One of the main reasons for IFC’s investment is the direct benefit that will be derived by Halim’s 600 outgrowers and the preservation of over 1,000 jobs in the Cholla Region.
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
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