EBRD helps Bulgarian metals processor compete on global market

By EBRD  Press Office

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The EBRD is helping Bulgarian metal-processing company Sofia Med sharpen its competitive edge by investing €40 million in production and energy efficiency improvements and long-term working capital financing.

Sofia Med is part of Viohalco Group, one of the biggest companies in Greece and one of the dominant metals processors in Europe. Sofia Med is a leading copper, titanium zinc and brass processor and its plant – located on the outskirts of Sofia – is an important contributor to the Bulgarian economy. Sofia Med uses raw materials sourced from within Bulgaria, including copper from Pirdop and zinc from Plovdiv, and almost 83 per cent of the company’s production is exported to western and eastern Europe.

The EBRD funding package consists of a long-term loan worth up to €40 million. The transaction will provide Sofia Med with long-term committed working capital and with the necessary funds to finalise key investments. These will enable Sofia Med to compete more effectively on the global market and meet the increasing demand for its products.

As part of the EBRD funding package, €10 million will go towards investments in energy efficiency improvements that will help the company to achieve best international practice and towards investments in producing higher value-added goods. Another €30 million will be used for long-term committed working capital dedicated to financing the company’s future growth.

Pericles Sapountzis, Halcor’s CEO, said: “With the funding provided by the EBRD and the renewed and continued support of our long-standing Greek banking partners, the implementation of Sofia Med’s business plan will be completed according to schedule. Following the necessary investments, Sofia Med will be able to grow dynamically, not only in products and market segments where the company is already established and holds significant shares, but also in higher value-added products for industrial applications, establishing itself as a major player in that market as well.”

Daniel Berg, Director for EBRD operations in Bulgaria, said: “This financing package will support Sofia Med’s development plan and enable it to thrive beyond the current market liquidity squeeze. It will also help Sofia Med to carry out significant investments in new products with value added and in energy efficiency and to improve its corporate governance standards. We are particularly pleased to work together with the Halcor Group and its existing commercial bank partners to put together a financing package which benefits all parties.”

Since the beginning of its operations in Bulgaria, the EBRD has invested more than €2.5 billion in over 200 projects in various sectors of the country’s economy. With a total project value exceeding €8 billion, the EBRD’s funds have helped mobilise over €5.5 billion in co-financing from other sources.

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