IFC signed a US$75 million loan agreement with Victoria Group
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Victoria Group signed a US$75 million loan agreement today, for developing the Serbian agriculture sector - essential for stimulating employment, economic growth and exports.
Victoria Group, an agro-industrial leader in the region, will use the six-year credit to refinancie existing loans and strengthen its working capital base. The funds will be used by the Group's four core companies: Victoria Oil, Sojaprotein, Victoria Logistics and Fertil.
“Having in mind IFC’s stringent criteria, it is both encouraging and satisfying to receive such a validation for our business activities and practices, as well as our future plans. Obtaining this loan from one of the world’s most important financial institutions was preceded by a six-month long in-depth evaluation of every aspect of the Group - from business strategy and financial results to employment policy, management quality, community work and commitment to renewable energy. This new loan agreement, along with EBRD’s existing equity stake in Victoria Group, both reflect that our Group is a reliable and desireable business partner for the world’s leading financial institutions and investors“ – commented Zoran Mitrović, CEO of Victoria Group.
“With this US$75 million loan IFC will support projects of Victoria Group – company that succeeded in establishing professional management and raising production quality to an admirable level. This loan will also support inclusive economic development in the country by expanding Victoria Group’s reach to smaller farmers,” said Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services for Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
IFC's investment portfolio in Serbia stands at $758 million (€563 million). Support to agribusinesses represents a key part of IFC’s investment strategy in the country. Recent IFC transactions have provided more than €250 million in direct financing to Serbian agribusinesses. IFC is also working with banks to increase access to finance for the country’s farmers and small agribusinesses. Through its advisory services, IFC is helping agribusinesses improve corporate governance and introduce new standards, allowing them to reach new markets and customers.