Georgian water and food processing company to expand with EBRD finance

By Ina Coretchi

$12 million financing to Margebeli JSC

The EBRD is continuing to strengthen the private sector in Georgia with a $12 million loan to Margebeli JSC, a local agribusiness holding, to finance the company's expansion and to help it become more energy efficient.

Margebeli JSC owns five operating companies, including one of the leading producers of mineral water in Georgia, Healthy Water JSC, and a food processing company, Marneuli Food Factory.

As part of its development strategy, Margebeli aims to increase its volumes of mineral water, with the view to meeting increasing demand on both local and export markets and to get better brand recognition with international customers.

The company is also strengthening its food processing facility. As the only local producer of tomato paste and canned vegetables in Georgia, this will help Margebeli replace the imported products that currently dominate the Georgian market with more competitively priced local goods.

The proceeds of the EBRD loans will be used to finance capital investments needed to support the company’s development. The project includes refurbishment of production facilities, installation of new energy efficient equipment, implementation of an irrigation system, construction of greenhouses and insulation of water pipes.

In addition to helping to expand production volumes, the EBRD facility will support Margebeli in becoming a more energy efficient company. Due to modern equipment and energy saving technologies implemented as part of this project, Margebeli will be able to reduce significantly its energy consumption.

“The EBRD is pleased to support the development of Margebeli, helping it to explore the huge potential of the Georgian agriculture sector. This investment will help have a positive demonstration effect, outlining the benefits of energy efficient production and will support Margebeli in its drive to become a strong vertically integrated business, said Gilles Mettetal, EBRD Director for Agribusiness.

“Margebeli has worked intensively to restructure all of its business segments with significant support from the EBRD. It has focused in particular on products and markets which offer the largest potential for growth. The EBRD's investment is of great importance for Margebeli and it will be used to purchase new equipment, improve the production and distribution quality. In addition, such an important investor will certainly strengthen and promote the reputation of Margebeli among local and foreign investors, said Mr. Avtandil Svimonishvili, the general director of company.

Since the beginning of its operations in Georgia, the EBRD has committed over €663 million in approximately 120 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors.

To date the EBRD has invested more than €5 billion in over 360 agribusiness projects in countries of its operations.