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The EBRD is one of the largest investors in Bulgaria. The Bank finances large private sector investments, cooperates with financial sector partners to fund small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and works with a number of municipalities. Its priorities are to support Bulgaria’s continued economic growth, with particular emphasis on sustainable energy and increased competitiveness.
Key projects signed in 2012 included a Bank loan to support the integrated urban transport system in the City of Burgas, the fourth largest city in the country. The Bank extended a senior loan of €10 million alongside co-financing by the European Union Structural Funds which brought the total value of the project to €47 million. The project will reform the urban transport system including the introduction of a Bus Rapid Transit system, dedicated bus lanes and cycle networks and the replacement of obsolete rolling stock with new, clean diesel and compressed natural gas buses.
In the corporate sector in 2012 the Bank signed a €5.5 million loan for Billboard AD, a leading local provider of printing and outdoor advertising solutions. The EBRD loan, along with Soc Gen restructuring will improve the company’s capital structure and finalise its investment plan. The Bank also extended a €40 million long-term loan to the Bulgarian subsidiary of Trakya Glass for technology upgrades and capacity expansion. The company is selling float glass across the Balkans, central and eastern Europe as well as Russia.
In the agricultural sector the Bank provided €22 million of long-term and working capital financing to Oliva, a major producer of rapeseed and sunflower oil. The loan will allow Oliva to construct a new crushing facility, purchase new oil extraction equipment, build a new silo and improve links with local farmers. It will enable the company to meet increasing demand and help the drive to develop Bulgaria’s promising agribusiness sector.
Also, the EBRD and ADM Capital, a private equity fund, have extended a finance package worth a total of €60 million to Prista Oil Group BV, with the aim of restructuring the company and developing the export capability of Bulgarian enterprises.
The project will enable Prista Oil Group to restructure its shareholding by buying out a minority shareholder, to improve its balance sheet and corporate structure, and to optimise its operational efficiency. The financing will also enable the installation of new equipment, an upgrade of the corporate IT system and expansion of Prista Oil Group’s branded network of service centres outside Bulgaria into Turkey, Romania, Hungary and the Slovak Republic.
Finally, in the financial sector, the Bank signed loans to six banks – Allianz Bank Bulgaria, DSK Bank, MKB Unionbank, ProCredit Bank (Bulgaria), Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) and Unicredit Bulbank – to provide energy efficiency credit lines to SMEs. This is the first case of the Bank co-financing energy efficiency credit lines together with the EU Structural Funds grant programmes.
Last updated 8 October 2013
The Local Enterprise Facility (LEF) is a €400 million proprietary vehicle for investments in SMEs in the Balkans and beyond. It provides a wide range of flexible financial products and post-investment assistance to companies, whose needs are not sufficiently addressed by existing financing sources.