EBRD supports expansion of major pharmaceutical holding in Belarus

By Anton Usov

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Apteka Group to open up to 160 new pharmacies under brands Adel and Dobryja Leki across the country

Belarusian consumers will have access to a wider range of high-quality medicines available through newly opened pharmacies across Belarus. The expansion of the country’s major pharmaceutical group, Apteka Group, supported by the EBRD, will add up to 160 retail outlets to the existing chain by the end of 2021.

A five-year mezzanine loan of up to €5 million from the EBRD to Apteka Group Holding Management Company LLC will help the pharmaceutical retailer to maintain its leading market position. It will also secure new store openings for the both of its pharmaceutical retail brands – Adel and Dobryja Leki.

This is the first mezzanine loan organised by the EBRD in Belarus.  Mezzanine loans, in which equity instruments are embedded and which typically bridge the gap between debt and equity financing, are common internationally but are only now being introduced to the country.

Alex Pivovarsky, EBRD Head of Office in Belarus, said: “This transaction is very important in several respects. First, it supports the expansion of a well-established market player that cares about the well-being of people in Belarus. Second, we are introducing new financial products in the country, and this will offer more flexibility to our borrowers.”

Chairman of Board of Apteka Group Holding Leonid Tomchin said: “This is the first mezzanine financing the EBRD is doing with a Belarus-resident pharmaceutical holding. It has been preceded by negotiations and thorough work of analysts, lawyers and consultants. The fact that we are signing this agreement with the EBRD today manifests the increased interest and trust of international financial institutions to the development of leading Belarusian companies. It also facilitates the additional inflow of currency funds to the country’s economy. We hope other companies see our case as a window of new opportunities for them.”

Since the start of its operations in Belarus in 1992, the EBRD has invested almost €2 billion in 95 projects in various sectors of the country's economy.

 

 

 

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