The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is providing a $75 million credit line for Louis Dreyfus Commodities’ subsidiaries in Ukraine and Russia to fund the purchase, storage, processing and export of agricultural commodities in these important grain-producing countries at a time of exceptionally tight credit.
The three-year revolving loan will provide the working capital these trading subsidiaries need in current difficult market conditions to maintain buying levels in both countries.
The EBRD funding will help ensure that despite a liquidity crunch, local farmers in Russia and Ukraine can continue to rely on trading companies like Louis Dreyfus Commodities for selling their crops and accessing the traders’ extensive network of silos. These certify the grain and make it possible to export it all year round.
The borrowers are Louis Dreyfus Commodities Ukraine and Louis Dreyfus Commodities Vostok. Both operate as agricultural commodity originators, mainly dealing in wheat, barley, corn and sunflower seeds.
This transaction is part of the Bank’s anti-crisis response but it is also a vivid example of how the EBRD’s financial support for one of the world’s leading commodity traders translates into a direct benefit for farmers on the ground in Ukraine and Russia, said Gilles Mettetal, Director of the EBRD’s Agribusiness Team.
Louis Dreyfus Commodities welcomes this financing which confirms its long standing partnership relation with the EBRD. This loan will help grow export capabilities in the Black Sea region where the company has been present for over a century, commented Serge Schoen, Chairman and CEO of Louis Dreyfus Commodities.
Louis Dreyfus Commodities owns a majority stake in one of Russia’s largest silo networks, Russia Elevator Company (Ruselco), which has a storage capacity of 1.5 million metric tonnes. In 2006, the EBRD provided $18.375 million in financing for Ruselco.
The EBRD has so far committed around €5 billion in more than 340 agribusiness projects across central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.