EBRD lends 150 million zloty to a steel mill in Poland

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

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The EBRD has extended a loan of 150 million zloty (€38 million) to Celsa Huta Ostrowiec, a Poland-based steel mill owned by the Spanish Celsa Group. This new loan was arranged in addition to a loan refinancing by Polish and international banks, including the EBRD, totaling €550 million.

The EBRD is the sole provider of new short term financing which is essential for the company’s growth and financial stability. The loan is being made in zloty which will reduce the company's foreign exchange risk.

Celsa Huta Ostrowiec (Celsa HO) has been well known to the EBRD since 2004, when the Bank financed the acquisition of the bankrupt Polish “mini-mill” by the Celsa Group, a major Spanish steel producer. Following the restart of operations, the mill was successfully turned around with further EBRD financial support to rapidly become a leader in the Polish reinforcing bar market, and a top player in highly specialised forged products and, later on, merchant bars.

The company suffered in the crisis of 2008-09, but is expecting to demonstrate good growth figures in 2011, on the back of the Polish construction market recovery.

"The new EBRD financing is essential for Celsa HO to meet demand, roll out the new rolling mill and operate more efficiently. With this debt restructuring, the EBRD demonstrates its long term commitment to its clients even in the challenging market environment," said Frederic Lucenet, EBRD's Director for Manufacturing and Services.

Since the beginning of its operations in Poland, the EBRD has invested over €5 billion in the country's economy, mobilising additional investment of over €17 billion from other sources of financing.

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