Mexico City / Washington, DC, July 10, 2012
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, made its first investment in Mexico’s forestry sector with a $10 million loan to Proteak, a publicly traded company engaged in the sustainable production and commercialization of teak wood.
The loan will support Proteak’s acquisition of plantations in Central America and Colombia, and the establishment of new plantations in Mexico, specifically in Tabasco, Chiapas, and Veracruz. It will also improve Proteak’s current environmental and social practices and bring the company in line with industry best practices. The investment also is expected to encourage other financial players to enter the region’s forestry sector.
"IFC's support will help Proteak consolidate its leadership position in sustainable teak production and further expand in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia," said Gaston Mauvezin, CEO of Proteak. “Our vision is to operate as a business that addresses social, environmental, and economic concerns.”
Proteak's plantations are managed according to the Forest Stewardship Council’s standards and are typically certified by the organization five years after planting. The Council’s standards are the world’s most trusted certification system to guarantee economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable forest practices.
IFC is the first lender to Proteak after Financiera Rural, the government institution that supports Mexico’s agricultural and forestry sectors. Founded in 2000 with initial operations in the Mexican states of Nayarit and Tabasco, Proteak started expanding to the south of Mexico in the past two years, and also acquired plantations in Costa Rica and Colombia last year.
“IFC's support to Proteak fits well with IFC's focus on supporting the growth of a sustainable forestry sector in Mexico and in Latin America. With this investment, IFC is backing a relatively young Mexican company in a capital-intensive sector that requires a long-term view to consolidate as a regional player," said Roberto Albisetti, IFC Senior Manager for Mexico and Central America.
The world’s growing demand for teak is expected to be met with more commercial plantations. Sustainably managed plantations reduce pressure on natural forests and have a positive effect on the environment by capturing carbon emissions.
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
Proteak is a leading, publicly-traded Mexican company engaged in sustainable forestry. It produces and transforms precious hardwoods in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia, and markets them in the United States, Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit