EBRD seven-year loan for Belarus soft drink plant

By Richard Wallis

A seven-year EBRD loan to the leading mineral water producer in Belarus will enable the Minsk Soft Drink Plant to upgrade its equipment, double its transport fleet and refinance part of its existing debt. The loan offers one of the longest maturities available on the local market in current market conditions.

The EUR 10 million loan from the EBRD will not only fund the plan’s investment programme, but will also contribute to setting new standards for corporate governance and business conduct in Belarus.

During the negotiations leading up to a signing in Minsk, the plant committed to switch from local accounting standards to produce its first IFRS audited results and has already hired one of the leading international auditing firms to prepare the necessary documentation.

The loan is being made under the EBRD’s Direct Lending Facility. The maximum loan that can be made under this facility is EUR 10 million.

The Minsk Soft Drink Plant was built in1966 and privatised in 1995. It employs over 700 staff and is the leading player on the country’s mineral water market.