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Washington D.C., June 12, 2001—
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will invest US$7.8 million to expand and modernize the production facilities of EPIQ Electronic Assembly Ltd (EPIQ-EA). IFC’s financing will support the government’s efforts to attract foreign investment and will help increase confidence in Bulgaria’s economic outlook.
EPIQ-EA’s expansion plan, estimated to cost $20.7 million, involves the construction of a new building in the existing industrial site in Botevgrad. It also includes modernization and expansion of the company’s manufacturing and assembly operations.
The loan agreement was signed by Mr. Khosrow Zamani, Director of IFC’s Southern Europe & Central Asia Department, who said that the investment will demonstrate how a previously state-owned enterprise can be transformed into a highly efficient and profitable private sector company. Mr. Zamani added that the new financing directly addresses the Bulgarian industrial sector’s critical need for long-term investments.
By supporting this well-managed Bulgarian production facility, IFC will help promote local production of high-tech devices in the manufacturing sector of electronic household, automotive and telecom appliances. The expansion plan is expected to triple EPIQ-EA’s current production and will generate a significant number of new jobs in the Botevgrad region, which now faces high unemployment.
EPIQ-EA, subsidiary of the EPIQ Group, was founded in 1997, and is owned by EPIQ-NV, a public limited company registered in Diepenbeek, Belgium. EPIQ-EA currently employs 500 people. ELEX N.V. Belgium and EPIQ-N.V., European leaders in electronic manufacturing, are the sponsors of the project.
The mission of IFC (
, part of the World Bank Group (
, is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries as a way 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.
Today, IFC is the largest multilateral source of loan and equity financing for private sector projects in the developing world.
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