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IFC Invests in GRIMAS to Increase Regional Business Opportunities, Promote Integration

Dakar, Senegal, August 17, 2010 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will extend a €14 million loan to GRIMAS S.A. to help the group upgrade operations in Mali and expand in West Africa, increasing business opportunities in the region and promoting regional economic integration.
GRIMAS, one of the largest agribusiness groups in Mali, produces carbonated soft drinks, plastic packaging, and carbon dioxide.  It will use the IFC loan to increase capacity and enhance operational, environmental, and social standards.
“IFC’s investment will help create employment and increase business opportunities for smaller businesses, which will be able to sell more goods and services to GRIMAS as it expands,” said Yolande Duhem, IFC’s Director for West and Central Africa. “Our partnership with GRIMAS will also help strengthen the competitiveness of West Africa’s agribusiness and food-processing sector, which is vital to the region's economy.”
Boubacar Pona, Managing Director of GRIMAS, said, “IFC’s eight-year loan will allow GRIMAS to efficiently implement its long-term growth strategy.  IFC’s global expertise will also enable GRIMAS to become a leading regional company using best practices in corporate governance, insurance, financial management, and environmental and social matters.”
IFC’s strategy in Mali focuses on helping the country diversify its economy by promoting industries such as agribusiness, manufacturing, and tourism; strengthening the financial sector so that it can better support smaller businesses; and working to improve Mali’s infrastructure.  With the GRIMAS transaction, IFC’s committed portfolio in Mali totals approximately 35 million Euros, including investments in the manufacturing, agribusiness, and financial sectors.  IFC, through its Advisory Services team, is also providing support to improve the investment climate in Mali.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit .