WASHINGTON, D.C., November 10, 2003—
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will provide a $17.5 million loan to United Phosphorus Limited, India. The company will use IFC’s financing to expand its production capacity, strengthen its financial position by extending its debt maturities, and acquire product registration rights in the developed markets.
UPL was founded in 1969 by Mr. R.D. Shroff to manufacture red phosphorus and phosphorus-based compounds. Initially established to produce import substitutes and export-oriented products encouraged by the government’s trade policy, the company has recently begun to develop or acquire off-patent technology to manufacture complex chemicals. It is now one of the largest Indian producers of crop protection products, such as insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and fumigants.
Mr. Rashad Kaldany, IFC Director for Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals, noted that, “IFC’s investment will help enhance UPL’s international profile and develop its business in the tightly regulated agrochemical markets of North America and Western Europe. We are happy to provide new long-term financing to an emerging, medium-sized company that is developing a global presence.”
Mr. Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Director for South Asia, added, “Agrochemical use is essential to reducing crop losses in India’s agriculture sector and this project will help increase competition and raise product quality. IFC is also helping upgrade UPL’s manufacturing facilities to conform with globally accepted environmental, health, and safety standards.”
According to Mr. R.D. Shroff, UPL’s Chairman and Managing Director, “IFC’s investment will help our company transform itself into a well-integrated and efficient global player by leveraging our comparative advantages of low-cost production and trained manpower. Our aim is to become one of the world’s leading producers of generic agrochemicals within the next few years.”
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications