EBRD arranges €307 million financing for leading SEE food company Atlantic Grupa

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

The EBRD is arranging a €307 million financing package for one of the biggest regional food producers in South East Europe, Atlantic Grupa. The package - the biggest syndicated deal in the region in corporate sector in 2012 – will support a strong regional corporation at times when the region is still recovering from crisis.

Atlantic Grupa, which became a regional group with ERBD support, leads the way in energy management, corporate responsibility and governance.  Atlantic Grupa is an existing client of the EBRD. The cooperation started in 2010 with the landmark acquisition of Droga Kolinska, one of the leading regional food and beverage producers in ex-Yugoslavia. The Bank supported acquisition with equity and mezzanine financing.

The financing will enable the Group to introduce energy management systems, sustainability certifications and strengthen its balance sheet through replacement of existing acquisition debt and working capital financing.

The package will have a complex structure. In the A/B portion of the financing up to €60 million will be for EBRD’s own account (A-loan) and up to €172 million will be syndicated to other participating lenders. The EBRD-arranged term loans with the partner banks (Raiffeisen Bank International, Unicredit Bank, Sberbank/Volksbank International and Erste Bank) will be made to three of Atlantic Grupa’s subsidiaries in Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia (Grand Prom, Atlantic Trade and Droga Kolinska, respectively) and will be used for refinancing of existing debt and energy efficiency improvements.

In another part of the package the IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is also providing parallel financing to these Atlantic Grupa subsidiaries of up to €50 million. The remaining €25 million for working capital will be provided by the local subsidiaries of Raiffeisen and Unicredit.

President of the EBRD, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, said: “The EBRD has reaffirmed its commitment to the region, in particular south eastern Europe with a joint IFI action plan in which the World Bank, the EIB and the EBRD pledge €30 billion in the next two years to support both real economies and the financial sector in central and south eastern Europe. The deal with Atlantic Grupa – a great example of cooperation between the EBRD and IFC – shows that well-managed corporations, such as Atlantic Grupa, can attract commercial financing even despite continuing deleveraging in SEE, and we will continue to support both corporate and financial sector as the region finds its way to growth".

Emil Tedeschi, President and CEO of Atlantic Grupa, said: "With the success of this project Atlantic Grupa has once more confirmed its standing as a company that, thanks to its prudent strategy, responsible management and transparent communication, enjoys the confidence and support of esteemed international development institutions and the financial community. We are exceptionally glad that our efforts, responsibility and quality have been recognised by the renowned institutions such as the EBRD and IFC, as well as by our partner banks with financing to support our  development".