The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing the chemical company Ciech S.A. – one of Poland’s leading enterprises – with a loan worth up to PLN 300 million to finance its capex programme. Ciech is Europe’s second largest soda producer, which also offers organics, agro-chemicals and inorganic products.
The EBRD financing is part of a wider restructuring package that will prepare Ciech for its further privatisation. Ciech has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since 2005 with an important stake held by the Polish State Treasury.
The restructuring package includes a rights issue and the provision of long-term financing to the company by a group of commercial banks for a total amount of PLN 1.9 billion. The EBRD loan is complementary to these funds and will be used primarily for improving the Company’s energy efficiency performance and environmental standards.
An environmental audit identified potentials for investments to ensure continued compliance with relevant environmental legislation. These measures will be financed with the EBRD loan. Furthermore, an energy audit funded by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund identified substantial potential for savings through the more efficient and improved use of energy, contributing to the long-term competitiveness of Ciech on the market.
“The loan to Ciech is an excellent example of what the EBRD can offer to the real economy in a highly competitive market such as Poland,” said Lucyna Stanczak, EBRD Director for Poland. “We are teaming up with commercial banks to provide a strong company with the funds to strengthen its sustainable growth and to improve its energy management, thus, to make it even stronger and more competitive. We believe that our financing will also prepare Ciech for further eventual privatisation. We are especially encouraged by the Government’s strong commitment to this process and expect its successful implementation in the near future,” she added.
“The EBRD financing will support Ciech in its funding needs for capital investment, including environment and energy efficiency projects, and will offer natural hedge for the Group long foreign exchange exposure. The EBRD’s participation in the transaction is a crucial element in providing Ciech with a complex and robust financing package,” said Rafal Rybkowski, Chief Financial Officer of Ciech.
Since the beginning of its operations in 1991, the EBRD has invested over €4.6 billion in Poland in more than 280 projects with a total value of over €18 billion. In addition to its wide product range for banks and companies, in recent years the Bank has also built a growing portfolio of investments in energy efficiency, renewable sources of energy and environmental upgrades in the country, for which demand remains high.