Proposed EBRD participation in a €150 million syndicated corporate loan to VIP-Net GSM d.o.o., a Croatian GSM operator. The project would allow VIP-Net to consolidate and simplify its existing financing arrangements and contribute to the advancement of an essential, efficient, reliable and user-oriented telecommunications infrastructure in Croatia. The proceeds of the loan would be used to refinance the existing indebtedness of the company and provide additional funds for further development of VIP-Net network in Croatia.
The project will assist the reform and liberalisation process of the Croatian telecommunications sector by strengthening effective competition in the telecommunications market. It will have a strong demonstration effect for foreign and local investors by supporting foreign direct investments into Croatian telecommunications.
VIP-Net GSM d.o.o. (“VIP-Net” or the “Company”) is a Croatian limited liability company incorporated in October 1998. Following an international tender, the Company was awarded the second national GSM licence in Croatia on 30 October 1998. Its shareholders are western and Croatian companies. The key sponsors are Mobilkom Austria AG (71%) and Western Wireless Corporation (19%).
EBRD will provide a €26 million tranche as part of the €150 million syndicated corporate loan arranged by Bank Austria Creditanstalt AG, which aims to (i) refinance existing project finance parallel loan facilities of the Company; and (ii) provide additional funding for VIP-Net.
The project was screened as B/0 requiring an environmental analysis. The analysis did not reveal major environmental, health and safety issues. VIP-Net is in compliance with all local and national regulations. The project will not include any construction in protected or sensitive areas. Where installations on apartment building will be required, VIP-Net will inform residents prior to start-up of civil works. The Bank will monitor environmental performance of VIP-Net during the implementation of the project through annual environmental reports. The company will also be required to comply with European Union environmental standards.
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