Croatia’s AFP wraps up €20 million EBRD loan

By Axel  Reiserer

Strengthening its engagement in Croatia’s corporate segment, the EBRD is granting a €20 million loan to AFP, a Croatian aluminium packaging manufacturer, to support the company’s development under a comprehensive capital expenditure programme.

The investment will include the procurement of machinery and equipment for the upgrade and modernisation of the company’s operations, resulting in improvements in volume and efficiency, as well as a significant upgrade of the company’s facilities. AFP produces flexible packaging products using aluminium foil, plastics and paper, and generates over 80 per cent of its revenue abroad.

The company was founded in 2001, as a successor to Folijaplast, a well-known packaging company in former Yugoslavia and neighbouring countries. AFP supplies most European and global industry leaders, and continues to grow its business.

Today, the group includes Aluflexpack Novi, Omial Novi and TOF, as well as their international subsidiaries. AFP has its operational headquarters in Zadar, and Croatian production plants in Umag, Zadar, Omis and Drnis, as well as production sites in Tychy (Poland) and Einsiedeln (Switzerland).

AFP was acquired by Montana Tech Components AG in December 2012 from Hypo Alpe Adria Bank International. Montana is a specialised industrial investor with a strong track record in the restructuring and development of fundamentally sound companies. This is the EBRD’s second investment with Montana, after a successful cooperation in an aircraft parts project in Romania.

Vedrana Jelušić Kašić, EBRD Director for Croatia, said: “We are pleased to provide finance to a leading Croatian company which is a strong international player in its market segment, with a largely diversified customer base. The development programme envisaged by the new owner will further strengthen the company, which is welcome news for the wider Croatian economy, with more local companies to benefit.”

Michael Tojner, chairman of Montana, added: “Based on our long-term industrial growth strategy we plan to become one of the top three players in selected European flexible packaging markets within the next years. Working together with the EBRD we are confident of reaching this goal. Their support will enable the professional execution of our ambitious five-year development plan, which includes improvements in product quality, competitiveness and productivity, as well as extending the capacity of our Croatian production sites.”

The EBRD has been active in Croatia as an investor since the country’s independence, and, to date, has invested more than €2.75 billion in some 150 projects. The Bank’s activities cover all sectors of the economy and are especially strong in infrastructure, corporate, financial institutions and energy.