Washington, D.C./Bucharest, Romania, February 3, 2012—
IFC is providing a €50 million loan to leading food retailer Schwarz Group to help the company expand its Lidl chain of discount grocery stores across Romania, giving residents of smaller centers a cost-effective place to shop for quality food.
The Schwarz Group will use IFC’s financing to enter new markets, particularly in cities with fewer than 50,000 inhabitants. As Lidl purchases most of its own brand products from local suppliers, the project will also stimulate local private sector activity.
"IFC's financing will help increase access to affordable, quality food,” said Atul Mehta, IFC Director for Global Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services. “This is especially important in smaller cities in Romania where there are fewer discount food stores.”
The project will also enable the company to implement a series of measures to save energy, a step that comes as consumers and governments demand increased energy efficiency.
Romania became a member of IFC in 1990 and the institution’s portfolio in the country stands at $650 million. Through a combination of investments and advisory services, IFC supports private enterprises across the country in a wide variety of sectors, including financial markets, agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, and health care.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit
About the Schwarz Group
Based in Germany, the Schwarz Group is involved in discount food retail through two brands, Lidl (discount supermarket) and Kaufland (discount hypermarket). It is one of the largest and fastest growing European discount retailers, with a network of about 10,500 stores in Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and with consolidated sales of more than ª60 billion. For more information, visit