EBRD supports fitness investor in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

EBRD supports fitness investor in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

InterFitness plans to invest in new multi-purpose fitness centre

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is continuing to support private small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Tajikistan with a loan to InterFitness, a fitness centre operator, for a new multi-purpose fitness centre in Dushanbe.

The EBRD will lend up to US$ 2 million to InterFitness for the company to finish construction of the fitness centre under the X-Fit franchise and to purchase equipment. Part of the loan will also be used to refinance a shareholder loan.

Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan with a population of about 1.5 million, is one of the youngest cities in Central Asia; over half of its citizens are under the age of 24. There is also a growing middle class, which is increasingly interested in a healthier lifestyle. The new fitness centre will be the first of its kind in Tajikistan and is expected to become operational within months.

InterFitness is owned and managed by its founder Mansur Ostanayev, a local entrepreneur and two foreign partners. The company also owns the Aqua Park Delfin, the first such facility in the country, opened in Dushanbe in 2012.

The firm will also benefit from technical cooperation support. Grants for energy efficiency improvements will be sought from the Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change (FINTECC) programme, managed by the EBRD and financed by a multilateral climate fund, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.

Improvements are expected to include efficient low-emissivity windows, LED lighting, solar heating panels and a European system of climate control with a Class-A level of energy efficiency. This will be the first sports facility in Tajikistan to use such advanced sustainable energy technologies.

The EBRD and the company will co-finance an accounting improvement programme, due diligence and the development of a business plan.

To date, the EBRD has invested €600 million in Tajikistan. 2015 is expected to become a record year for the Bank’s investment in the country, with €160 million invested in 12 new projects.