The EBRD aims to provide a loan for up to €20 million to Empik Centrum Investments SA (ECI). ECI is a holding company consisting of the largest department store chain in Poland, Domy Towarowe Centrum (DTC), and EMPiK, a chain of multimedia/book stores among others. The loan is mainly to help ECI to complete DTC’s modernisation and refurbishment programme.
Project objectives: DTC is Poland’s only department store chain with 31 stores in 22 medium and large towns throughout Poland. Since privatisation in February 1998, DTC has embarked on an intense investment programme to refurbish and modernise its stores as well as to build a new franchise business. The EBRD’s loan would help ECI to achieve this goal, supporting the privatisation and restructuring of one of Poland’s leading retailers and also provide ECI with the working capital required for the peak retail season
It is expected that the EBRD’s investment would allow ECI to reposition DTC as a modern, consumer-focused clothing retailer. By offering a competitive outlet for these garments, DTC would broaden consumer choice in Poland and help support the local garment industry.
ECI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastbridge NV. The ECI group is the largest non-food retail chain in Poland; EMPiK and DTC have consolidated sales of US$ 211 million (€232.5 million).
A loan facility for up to €20 million.
This investment follows the ECI convertible bond issue in August 1999, when AIG NEF and the EBRD each invested US$ 20 million (€18.6 million) in a convertible bond issued by ECI to finance its operations in Poland (department stores, multimedia, books, press, cosmetics stores, mail order and related wholesale).
Up to €20 million.
There are no production processes involved and consequently there are few, if any, significant environmental, health and safety impacts associated with the project.
The main issues reported relate to levels of emissions associated with the many solid fuel boiler-houses used throughout the company branches. Owing to the emission fees payable to local environmental regulators, the company plans to switch from solid fuel to gas heating.
The company will be encouraged by the EBRD's Board representatives to implement an environmental policy and management system in accordance with best EU practice. The sponsor is fully aware of the considerable scope through purchasing requirements to influence the environmental aspects of suppliers' activities.
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