The EBRD is continuing to support Ukraine’s agribusiness sector, which accounts for a quarter of the Bank’s portfolio in the country. The latest transaction is aimed at the acquisition of a minority stake in the Ukrainian operations of London-based group ED&F Man, one of the world’s leading merchant houses specialising in the handling, processing, marketing, and distribution of sugar, coffee and other agricultural commodities.
The Bank is investing US$ 15.9 million into ED&F Man operations in southern Ukraine, in the Mykolaiv region, where the Group runs a sugar refinery. The proceeds of the investment will be used to install sugar beet processing equipment and to further develop sugar beet growing operations in the region (through a joint venture with Continental Farming Group, a farming company listed on AIM in London with operations in Poland and Ukraine).
This project supports a leading international industry player and an investor in Ukraine which is seeking to expand its operations and enhance vertical integration. New sugar beet processing equipment to be installed at the sugar refinery is expected to be more energy efficient than in most of the existing sugar plants in Ukraine. The introduction of agricultural operations run by an experienced operator will also bring necessary know-how and modern technology, including contemporary irrigation systems, to the region.
The EBRD is the largest financial investor in Ukraine. As of the end of October 2012, the Bank had committed over €8 billion (US$ 10 billion) through 327 projects.