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Washington, D.C., September 21, 2000—
The following is a package of brief announcements about IFC transactions signed in the past month for investments that will support private sector enterprises in the developing world.
is a monthly digest of new IFC investments that have not been announced in our regular press releases. More information is available by contacting the Media Relations team listed at the end.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will 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.
AGRO-INDUSTRY PROJECT IN CAMEROON
IFC will invest $162,000 in Banagri Sarl, Cameroon to develop a palm tree plantation and establish a modern palm oil extraction mill in Njombe-Penja, 80 kilometers north of Douala, in one of the most developed palm tree plantation zones of the country. The company owns 350 hectares of fertile land suitable for palm tree growing and is acquiring an additional 150 hectares in a nonforested area where several major plantations are located. Total project cost is estimated at $325,000.
Banagri Sarl is owned by Mr. Roger Fernand Tchokogue and his family. Mr. Tchokogue is from a Cameroonian agricultural family and is a chartered accountant.
By financing the project, IFC will provide long-term resources not currently available to agribusiness. The project will help reduce rural migration to cities and contribute to employment generation—one of the principal factors inhibiting rural development. IFC's support of this sector and the company will also encourage other potential investors in agribusiness.
ROAD MAINTENANCE SERVICES IN GUINEA
IFC will invest $500,000 in a Guinean company, MATP (Société Africaine de Matériaux et Travaux Publics), to provide road maintenance services for donor-funded projects. The company will purchase civil works equipment and build a workshop and offices in Conakry, Guinea, at a total project cost of about $1.26 million.
MATP is majority owned by Mr. Cherif Diallo, a Guinean metallurgical engineer with long experience in the supervision of civil works in Africa. Minority shareholders include private French and Guinean investors.
Besides improving road maintenance capabilities in Guinea, the project will help strengthen the local private sector and have a strong demonstration effect for other local entrepreneurs. It will increase accessibility to the rural areas and facilitate the transport of food products from the villages to the cities.
GRAIN STORAGE PLANT IN KENYA
IFC will invest $2.5 million in Lesiolo Grain Handlers Limited (LGHL) to establish a $6.6 million grain-handling and storage plant located close to the major grain-growing areas in Kenya. LGHL will provide cleaning, drying, and storage services for maize, wheat, and barley producers within Kenya as well as provide handling and storage for grain imported into Kenya by local millers and for grain in transit to Uganda. As the first independent provider of grain-handling facilities in Kenya, LGHL will fill a gap in the market.
Frank Tundo, a Kenyan citizen with more than 25 years of experience in large-scale farming ventures in Kenya, will own 50 percent of the company. He has a diploma in agriculture and agricultural engineering from the Royal College of Agriculture in Cirencester, UK. His son, Carl Tundo, who will own the balance of the shares, has a degree in environmental engineering from Silsoe Agricultural College, Cranfield University, UK.
The project will make grain-handling and storage facilities available to small farmers who have no alternative access to grain-cleaning and drying equipment and have, in many cases, been reduced to drying their grain on the roadside or forced to sell their produce as animal feed at heavily discounted prices.
BUILDING CONSTRUCTION IN MALI
IFC will invest $124,000 in Fibromat-Mali Sarl, located in Djicoroni in Bamako, Mali. The company, which manufactures facing stones and cement materials for the building construction sector in Mali, will relocate its plant, expand production capacity, and import new equipment from Italy and the UK. The total project cost is estimated at $250,000.
Mrs. Sanogo Fatoumata Keita, a Malian national, is the founder, principal shareholder, and managing director of the company. She is an accountant by training and holds a degree from ESICA, a Malian management and accounting school.
By helping a small company grow into a semi-industrial unit, the project will assist in strengthening the country's weak industrial sector. It will also promote a woman with demonstrated business ability and leadership who serves as a role model in Mali and the region for other women entrepreneurs.
TOURISM PROJECT IN SENEGAL
IFC will invest $1 million in Royal Saly SA to build a two-star seaside resort at a total cost of $3.62 million in North Saly, one of the most attractive tourist areas of Senegal about 80 kilometers from Dakar. The Royal Saly Hotel will be developed on a 2.8-hectare plot and will include 130 rooms, a restaurant, bar, conference room, boutiques, fitness room, mini-club, swimming pool, and tennis court.
Royal Saly is sponsored by Senegal Hotels, a hotel operator with seven beach hotels in the country's two main tourist zones, the Casamance and South Saly. Senegal Hotels is majority owned by Mamadou Racine Sy, chairman of Senegal Tours and Senegal Travel Services. Bolloré Investissements and Look Voyages, both French companies, are the other shareholders in Royal Saly.
Tourism is Senegal's second major source of income—in 1999, the sector generated revenues of about $160 million equivalent—and the project will help support the tourist infrastructure. Royal Saly is expected to generate tax revenues of about $2 million and create 127 new jobs for local employees.
TOURISM PROJECT IN ZIMBABWE
IFC will invest $300,000 in Universal Investments (Pvt) Limited of Zimbabwe. The $810,000 project will rehabilitate and refurbish two hotels, one in Harare and the other in Marondera. Both hotels are two-star. The former Kamfinsa Hotel now renamed Charleston is located in the Harare suburb of Greendale about 10 kilometers from the city center. Greendale is an attractive suburb with two small hotels serving the budget tourist as well as the local market. The Marondera Hotel is 70 kilometers from Harare in the center of Marondera town, along the Harare-Mutare road.
The sponsor of the project is Universal Investment Pvt. Ltd., which is equally owned by a married couple, Paul Matamisa and Pedia Moyo. Both sponsors have extensive knowledge of the hospitality industry in Zimbabwe with a combined experience of 45 years in the business and a track record of success.
The project will help diversify the country's tourism sector—a key foreign exchange earner. It will create employment in the building and service sectors when the hotels are operational. It will also stimulate the growth of small but vital centers such as Marondera and help decentralize development.
RESTRUCTURING OF MEDICAL CENTER IN THAILAND
IFC will help its client Bumrungrad Medical Center Limited (BMC), a leading private hospital in Bangkok, undertake the financial restructuring that many Asian companies need following the Asian financial crisis.
IFC invested in BMC in 1994 to construct a new private general hospital. Since its establishment in January 1997, BMC has raised the standards of health care services in Bangkok and enhanced local management skills by engaging experienced foreign specialists to work in major management positions and transferring knowledge and know-how to local staff. BMC was hit by the Thai baht devaluation in 1997 and ensuing Asian economic crisis and has suffered financial difficulty since 1998.
IFC played a significant role in arranging the restructuring package by working closely with BMC's sponsors and the IFC B-loan participating banks to seek equal burden sharing. The restructuring package will include an extension of the grace period and maturity for IFC loans, conversion of subordinated debt into equity, and repayment of all arrears. IFC will also provide a US$/baht hedging facility to reduce foreign exchange risk for BMC. The restructuring will improve BMC's financial position to better withstand possible future downturns and help secure its leadership position based on high-quality health care service and state-of-the-art facilities. The transaction will have an important demonstration effect for other Thai corporations and contribute to business confidence in Thailand, especially on the part of foreign investors.
This project was assisted by a grant from the government of Japan, through its trust fund with IFC, which undertook a study on the overall state of the private health care industry in Thailand.
For more information on any of these transactions, please contact one of the following people:
Ludi Joseph, (202) 473-7700,
AFRICA & ASIA
Jannette Esguerra, (202) 458-5204,
MIDDLE EAST & LATIN AMERICA
Brigid Janssen, (202) 458-4698,
Lynn Véronneau, (202) 473-6005,
GENERAL PRESS INFO
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