Long-term senior loan of up to €20 million to Eurotorg LLC, a limited liability company domiciled in Belarus, to partly refinance its existing debt portfolio.
The proposed facility will be used to refinance the loans and financial lease obligations from local financial institutions. The refinancing is part of an ongoing optimisation and diversification of the Borrower's loan portfolio through the repayment of selected facilities accumulated in previous years.
ETI score: 61
The transition impact of the proposed project will be derived from:
- The Well-governed quality as the project is aimed at improving the corporate governance structure of the company though implementation of a comprehensive Corporate Governance Action Program (CGAP), and
- The Competitive quality as the project would contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the group through balance sheet restructuring supported by the Bank's investment and to improve environmental and social practices and standards.
Eurotorg LLC, a limited liability company domiciled in Belarus, operating the largest Belarusian grocery retail chain.
Eurotorg is the largest grocery retail chain in Belarus, with a market share of 19 per cent in food retail sales (2019). The Company's business was established in 1993 in Minsk. As of 31 December 2019, Eurotorg operated 870 stores in different formats (hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores). The Company's strategy, based on offering a focused assortment of high turnover products at market-leading prices, delivers a value proposition that is well-tuned to the needs of the Belarusian consumers.
EBRD Finance Summary
Senior secured loan to the borrower in the amount of up to EUR 20 million.
Total Project Cost
Environmental and Social Summary
Categorised C in accordance with the EBRD's 2014 Environmental and Social Policy. The project involves a loan for refinancing of the existing debts of a large grocery retail chain with multi-site operations across Belarus. Eurotorg has previously enhanced their environmental, health and safety practices in the context of the already completed investment project financed by the EBRD involving the expansion of its retail business. Client's performance under that previous operation was overall satisfactory.
Environmental and Social Due Diligence (ESDD) has been carried out internally through obtaining an update on the status of the Company's corporate E&S management, a review of Company's strategic investment and development plans, and an updated status of the Company's current performance against the applicable Performance Requirements (PRs), with a particular focus on PRs 2 & 4, building up on the findings and recommendations of monitoring visit in mid-2015.
Implementation of the internal corporate management systems and procedures in line with good international practice take a high priority for Eurotorg. The Company already has a management system for quality in line with ISO 9001 and HACCP procedures in line with ISO 22000. Eurotorg will also need to finalise the development and implementation of its corporate management systems for environmental management in line with ISO 14001 and for occupational health and safety in line with ISO 45001 and consider their certification accordingly.
Due to the overall labour profile of Belarus, and media attention to Eurotorg, one of the largest employers in the Country, a desk-based labour due diligence was conducted by an independent labour consultant for PR 2. The broader political context means that there are a number of significant compliance and reputational risks directly related to the respect for international labour standards in Belarus which underpin Performance Requirement 2 on Labour and Working Conditions. These notably relate to limitations to freedom of association and collective bargaining rights in Belarus but also include regulations related to fixed-term employment with restrictions to workers' right to resign and the annualisation of working hours and overtime sometimes leading to excessive hours worked over short periods of time.
Labour due diligence covered working hours, overtime, terms of employment and resignation, as well as freedom of association. It appears that the Company is proactive in seeking to resolve any cases that come to light, including by engaging with the independent trade union REP (Belarusian Radio and Electronic Industry Workers' Union) on their request. Due diligence concluded that Eurotorg is operating in line with national law in relation with the identified areas of concern and is implementing measures to improve management of working hours. However, the Company is striving to comply with high international good practices and is committed to further actions to be implemented as per the Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) that is being negotiated with the Company. Proposed ESAP measures include (a) the inclusion in HR Policies and procedures of explicit language to the effect that overtime is voluntary and that workers are free to leave their employment without penalty after reasonable notice; (b) regular reporting on actual rather than rostered working hours to Company senior management and the EBRD; (c) ensuring the effective implementation of an independent grievance process for workers and regular reporting on outcomes of worker grievances to Company senior management and the EBRD; (d) capacity building of the workforce to ensure core labour and health and safety standards are well understood and workers are informed about the grievance process; and (e) continuing constructive engagement by the Company with trade unions where this is requested. Eurotorg will report to the EBRD on an annual basis on progress implementing the above and the EBRD reserves the right to require an independent labour audit to be carried out if and when deemed necessary.
A corrective corporate level ESAP has been prepared for Eurotorg incorporating the above measures, and it will need to be implemented by the Client during the project. Additionally, a Corporate Governance Action Plan (CGAP) developed for Eurotorg includes a number of actions for the Company to enhance its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and further improve its stakeholder relations in line with best practices. The Client will submit annual E&S reports on the project's compliance with the PRs and implementation of the follow up action plans.
Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing
Company Contact Information
2, Montazhnikov St. Minsk, 220019, Belarus
The EBRD and Eurotorg signed aloan agreement on 31 July 2018 and the proceeds were fully disbursed in September 2018. The proceeds of the EBRD loan were used to refinance loans and financial lease obligations from local financial institutions to support the Borrower's plans to optimise and diversify its loan portfolio.
A Corporate Governance Action Plan (CGAP) was developed for Eurotorg, which included a number of actions for the Company to enhance its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and further improve its stakeholder relations in line with best practices to assist with IPO preparation.
The transition impact was derived from:
The Well-governed quality as the project contributed to improving the corporate governance structure of the company though partial implementation of a Corporate Governance Action Program (CGAP), and
The Competitive quality as the project contributed to increasing the competitiveness of the group through balance sheet restructuring supported by the Bank's investment and to improve environmental and social practices and standards.
Company's annual E&S reporting, including ESAP implementation progress, has been satisfactory. Namely, Eurotorg improved their internal procedures and corporate management systems in line with ISO 14001 for environmental management and OHSAS 18001 for occupational health and safety.
The loan was prepaid in September 2019 after Eurotorg raised funding by issuing bonds.
PSD last updated
29 Jul 2020
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Environmental and Social Policy (ESP)
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Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)
If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).
IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.
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