EBRD and Raiffeisen Bank support expansion of Romania’s online retailer eMAG Group

By Olga Rosca
@olgarosca

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  • EBRD co-finances investment package with up to €16 million
  • eMAG Group is largest ecommerce platform in Romania
  • Investment in new state-of-the-art logistic centre

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is arranging alongside Raiffeisen Bank a debt financing package for the leading Romanian online retailer eMAG.

The syndicated loan package of €37.55 million was arranged by the EBRD and Raiffeisen Bank as Original Mandated Lead Arrangers and by Alpha Bank as Mandated Lead Arranger. The loan is part of a larger package of €73.4 million aimed to finance the development of the company’s second state-of-the-art logistic center as well as the hi-tech automation equipment to be installed.

Founded in 2000, eMAG is today the largest online retailer in Romania connecting customers, suppliers and entrepreneurs across Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. Responding to the rapidly growing demand for online services during the coronavirus pandemic, the company   expanding its logistics capacity. Latest technology will support automation and efficiency. The investment will enable eMAG’s commercial expansion increase capacity of its fulfilment services while indirectly supporting SMEs’ to expand their business and improve their operations by leveraging eMAG’s marketplace platform, which reaches millions of customers in the CEE region.

The company also committed to follow BREEAM green building certification requirements to optimise energy consumption and limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Dirk Werner, EBRD Director, Telecommunications, Media and Technology, said: “The Bank is proud to support eMAG as a digitalisation leader in Romania and wider CEE countries. By strengthening its logistics services, eMAG will not only increase its own logistics capacity but will also facilitate a faster development of local SMEs as it allows them to reach customers and markets not accessible before and in a more cost efficient way. The development of the marketplace is expected to serve customers who will benefit from wider choice, better quality and prices.”

Mark Davis, EBRD Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria, commented: “Given the sustainability standards of the Project, it fits well with the EBRD’s Country Strategy for Romania, according to which the Bank will support green and sustainable operations to enhance competitiveness of local companies, across all sectors and including green and sustainable buildings”.

Cristian Sporis, VP Corporate Banking, Raiffeisen Bank, said: “The transition to a greener and sustainable economy is central to our strategy and we are committed to support our corporate customers to further invest in assets and activities that will not only benefit their future competitiveness in the region but also the local economic and social ecosystem, the SMEs and the consumers”.

Periklis Voulgaris, Executive Corporate VP Alpha Bank Romania said: ”In our history of joint projects and successful cooperation we are very proud to participate in this sustainability linked project of eMAG. Alpha Bank Romania promotes green, digital and energy efficiency changing projects, which will help make the economy even more sustainable. This is the challenge we are really looking forward to.”

Tudor Manea, CEO eMAG, mentioned: “To fulfil our mission, we are always looking for ways to serve our customers ever more reliably, faster and cheaper, with an ever increasing range of products. This sizeable investment, close to 100 mil eur, will enable just that. The state of the art logistics capacity, a technological and sustainability benchmark in our CEE region, will increase our capacity to store an even broader product range, improve order preparation time by cca 90 minutes/order while also materially reducing cost of doing so. We are also pursuing our commitment of sustainable development, the new facility being designed according to BREEAM Excellent standard”.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Romania and has invested €9 billion through 468 projects in the country to date, with 76 per cent of that in the private sector.

Raiffeisen Bank is servicing over 2.2 million customers in Romania, consumers, SMEs, mid-sized and large companies. At the end of Q1 2021, the loans to customers stood at over EUR 6 billion.

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