EBRD helps retailer Maxima create jobs for displaced Ukrainians

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

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  • EBRD subscribes to €240 million bond of food retailer Maxima Grupė
  • As part of €72 million of EBRD funding, Maxima commits to supporting new jobs and skills
  • Maxima already employs 500 Ukrainian refugees, commits to 720 more

Maxima Grupė, an existing EBRD client and owner of leading Lithuanian retail chain Maxima, has successfully issued a €240 million bond. The EBRD subscribed to €72 million of the issue.

The investment is part of the EBRD’s Resilience and Livelihoods Framework, a €2 billion package designed to support the economies of Ukraine and other countries affected by Russia’s war on Ukraine. As part of the Framework, the EBRD also supports the functioning of capital markets in the region.  

Present in several central European markets, including the Baltic states, Poland and Bulgaria, Maxima Grupė was one of the first companies to offer jobs to Ukrainian refugees. To date, the company has employed about 500 displaced Ukrainians. As part of the cooperation between EBRD and Maxima Grupė in relation to the current bond issue, Maxima Grupė has committed to hiring an additional 720 refugees, the overwhelming majority of whom are women.

Ian Brown, EBRD Head of the Baltic states, said: “This project is an opportunity to support a bond issue by our client Maxima Grupė at a time when capital markets are feeling the impact of Russia’s war on Ukraine. We are proud that this project will help create hundreds of jobs for displaced Ukrainians in central Europe and the Baltic states”.

Mantas Kuncaitis, the CEO of Maxima Grupė, said that he was pleased with the results of the issue. “Last week saw significant market interest in our business, which led us to securing more than 20 investors, and more than half of the amount from international sources. I am delighted to see ongoing investor confidence towards us.

“At the same time,” he continued, “this is a strong message of confidence in the security and prospects of the entire region in light of the war on Ukraine. Having strong partners such as the EBRD encourages us to maintain our current direction, and to improve even further.”

This is the second EBRD collaboration with the company so far this year. In March, Maxima’s new (second) commercial paper (CP) issue was supported by the EBRD, which invested €5 million, following an investment in the first issue of €4.2 million in 2021. Commercial paper – short-term unsecured debt issued by companies with a fixed term – is still a new instrument for the region. It was pioneered by Maxima Grupė in the Baltic states with technical support from the EBRD under its Commercial Paper Framework.

Cooperation between the EBRD and Maxima started in 2018 when the EBRD helped the company issue its first €300 million bond, to which it also subscribed.

The EBRD has been investing in the Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – since 1991. To date, the Bank’s total investment there stands at over €3 billion through more than 300 projects.

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