The total number of projects the EBRD has invested in is 152 with a net business volume of €2.77 billion and total value of €7.4 billion.
This year we expect to invest €230 million in Croatia (compared to €210 million in 2012) and are focussing on SMEs, supporting the absorption of EU Structural Funds and the development of infrastructure and municipalities.
Here we look at some notable EBRD projects in Croatia and the impact they have had.
- Piramida is the leading producer of ampoules and vials for the pharma industry. EBRD provided a loan of €3.6m signed in April 2013 for balance sheet restructuring and new capital expenditure for capacity increase. The company’s sales were € 8.8m in 2012 and expected to reach €10.2m in 2013, with approximately 90% sales from exports. Piramida holds key pharmaceutical certifications for glass packaging (including ISO 15378:2006), runs on SAP and remains frequently audited by customers.
- Pelet Grupa is a private company set up to construct a cogeneration biomass power plant in Novska, with a production capacity of 1MW of electricity and 4MW of heat and wood pellet production. This is a greenfield investment, of a kind currently rare in Croatia. The power plant will be fuelled by forestry biomass and wood industry waste. The total project costs of both the power plant and pellet production amount to €8.9m out of which €3.7m was provided by the EBRD – under the WeBSEDFF, which will be used for financing of equipment for the power plant.
In May 2009 the Bank signed an agreement to provide a €70 million senior corporate loan to Plinacro, a 100 % state-owned Croatian gas transmission operator. The proceeds of the loan were utilized for the acquiring of 100 percent of Podzemno skladiste plina d.o.o, an operating company which at that time owned the strategically-important gas storage facility on location Okoli some 50 kilometres southeastern from Zagreb
Plinacro manages the gas transportation network from the border of Croatia to the local gas distributors and big industrial end consumers. It owns and operates almost 2,600 km of regional and trunk pipelines and transports approximately 3.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum.
Gas storage capacity is of strategic importance for the Republic of Croatia and is essential for achieving gas supply stability, especially during periods of peak consumption in winter.
ABS Sisak d.o.o. is a limited liability company established in Croatia, 99% owned by Danieli & C. Officine Meccanice SPA and 1% by Acciaierie Bertoli Safau S.p.A, Danieli steel-making division.
The EBRD has made a €20 million senior loan to the company. This will finance the refurbishment of the existing production facilities and implementation of the new equipment to develop and restructure the plant into an engineering steel-making facility with a capacity of up to 400k tons of steel per annum. ABS Sisak will produce high quality billets and blooms with a length of up to 12m and diameter of up to 400mm. The total project value is €60 million.
Atlantic Grupa is one of the biggest regional food producers in South Eastern Europe
EBRD’s cooperation with it started in 2010 with the acquisition of Droga Kolinska, one of the leading regional food and beverage producers in ex-Yugoslavia. EBRD supported the acquisition through provision of an equity investment via a capital increase on the Zagreb Stock Exchange and a mezzanine loan.
In 2012, the EBRD arranged a €307m financing package for Atlantic Grupa. The package - the biggest syndicated deal in the regional corporate sector in 2012 –supported a strong regional corporation at times when the region was still recovering from crisis. The financing is enabling the Group to introduce energy management systems, sustainability certifications and strengthen its balance sheet through replacement of existing acquisition debt and working capital financing.
Its chairman, Emil Tedeschi, said:
“The EBRD has been an invaluable and indispensable partner for our company as well as for the wider Croatian economy. They've proven accurate in identifying enterprises with good performance and high potential such as Atlantic Grupa, and their targeted approach has helped many companies to radically improve their business activities and become competitive in the wider European market. In business, like in sport, one must keep improving and with the EBRD we have an experienced and resourceful partner who will also help us to make EU membership a success for our country.”
A member of Intesa Sanpaolo Group, Privredna Banka Zagreb is the second largest bank in Croatia, providing a diverse range of banking services to corporate and retail customers through its extensive branch network. EBRD has supported the bank repeatedly, most recently with a €20m SME credit line under the Private Sector Support Facility in 2011.
Its chairman, CEO Božo Prka, said:
“We are an EBRD-partner of old-standing and proud of what we have achieved since the beginning of our deep and continuing partnership dating back to 2001 when we signed our first loan agreement. EBRD support was crucial when the global financial crisis hit the region and the Bank has been a main driver in efforts to overcome the challenges that have been brought on by it through providing a reliable source of financing to the real economy. Surely this role will continue to remain vital in enhancing the competitiveness of Croatian companies in the wider European market."
EBRD has supported Agrokor, a leading agribusiness company in Croatia and South Eastern Europe, for many years and remains committed to strengthen its further development. Agrokor is active in the production, distribution and retail of food and drinks and today is the largest private company in Croatia.
Its CEO, Ivica Todorić, said:
“Membership in the EU is a unique opportunity for our country to unleash its potentials and also to establish excellent long-term prospects because Croatia will become, among other things, a more interesting destination for global investors due to decreased investment risks. On the other hand, membership in the EU and access to its large market will open new horizons for Croatian companies. This is an opportunity for growth and development not only for Agrokor and all the companies owned by it, but for the entire Croatian economy. Preparations for this historic moment for our country and its citizens have been well underway at Agrokor and we have received strong support from the EBRD along the way. We are readily awaiting July 1st and the prospects ahead of us while we hope that, together with the EBRD, we will make the most of them."