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Croatian functional foods and supplements maker wins €300m development loan

By Shane Starling , 20-Nov-2012

Croatian food company Atlantic Grupa has won a €307m finance package from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for new energy systems, sustainability certifications and working capital financing.

It is the second round of assistance the fund – set up in 1991 to develop market economies and now working with the likes of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Investment Bank – has given Atlantica Grupa after it assisted the company acquire Slovenian food company Droga Kolinska in 2010.

EBRD spokesperson Svitlana Pyrkalo emphasised the fund, that was backed financially by 63 countries, supported healthy businesses in regions where access to capital is limited.

Central and south eastern Europe (SEE) had become a point of focus after the global financial crisis and in conjunction with recent IFC programmes.

EBRD president, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, said: “The EBRD has reaffirmed its commitment to the region, in particular south eastern Europe with a joint IFI action plan in which the World Bank, the EIB and the EBRD pledge €30 billion in the next two years to support both real economies and the financial sector in central and south eastern Europe.”

“The deal with Atlantic Grupa – a great example of cooperation between the EBRD and IFC – shows that well-managed corporations, such as Atlantic Grupa, can attract commercial financing even despite continuing deleveraging in SEE, and we will continue to support both corporate and financial sector as the region finds its way to growth.”

Atlantic Grupa owns European sports nutrition brands like MultiPower, Powergym, Multaben and Champ.

Part of the deal saw EBRD arrange loans with partner banks Raiffeisen International, Unicredit Bank, Sberbank/Volksbank International and Erste Bank and made available to Atlantic Grupa subsidiaries in Serbia (Grand Prom), Croatia (Atlantic Trade) and Slovenia (Droga Kolinska).

President and CEO of Atlantic Grupa, Emil Tedeschi, said: "With the success of this project Atlantic Grupa has once more confirmed its standing as a company that, thanks to its prudent strategy, responsible management and transparent communication, enjoys the confidence and support of esteemed international development institutions and the financial community.”

See here for a list of deals the EBRD has conducted this year in the ag-food sector alone.

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