Distressed assets CEE fund

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; and CRG Capital, a leading restructuring fund manager have launched the first fund dedicated to investing in distressed assets in Central and Eastern Europe.

The CEE Special Situations Fund will invest in underperforming companies to support recovery in the region. It is being established by CRG Capital. The fund aims to raise €200 million, with EBRD, IFC, and CRG Capital initially committing a total of €36 million. It will focus on the acquisition, turnaround, and resolution of corporate distressed assets in Central and Eastern Europe.

The fund forms part of the Debt and Asset Recovery Program launched by IFC during the 2009 World Bank Group’s Annual Meetings in October.

Parham Pouladdej, Managing Director of CRG Capital, said, “We are very pleased with the fund’s first closing and the cornerstone investors’ confidence, support, and commitment. This successful closing reflects our track record, the strength of our team and investment strategy, as well as our unique positioning. While challenging, the current environment provides substantial opportunities to capitalize on throughout the region.”

Varel Freeman, EBRD First Vice President, said, “The EBRD’s participation in the fund will support the development of private equity investments in companies that have been adversely affected by the economic crisis. The fund will support an established management group that will bring new skills to support the recovery of viable, but struggling, companies.”

Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, said, "We are pleased to work with EBRD and CRG Capital on this important initiative for Central and Eastern Europe. By addressing the problem of bad debts, we are helping restore the long-term viability of the regional financial system so that individuals and small and medium businesses can gain better access to affordable finance." The Debt and Asset Recovery Program is a key element of IFC’s strategy to support the Europe and Central Asia region.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About CRG Capital
CRG Capital is a leading asset manager and investment advisor focused on underperforming, distressed, and special situations asset classes in the emerging Europe (CEE and CIS). Active in the region since 1992, CRG Capital – initially known as The Recovery Group or TRG – pioneered enterprise restructuring and performance improvement in the region. CRG Capital is associated with CRG Partners Group LLC, a leading middle market turnaround advisory firm in the United States. CRG Capital, established in 2002, is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. For more information, please see www.crgcap.com.