IFC, Banca Intesa, Erste Lend Serbian Farmakom EU120 Million

Serbia’s diversified group Farmakom MB d.o.o. received a 120 million-euro ($165.7 million) loan from a group led by the International Finance Corp., the World Bank’s unit for private-sector lending.

The IFC provided 40 million euros of the credit and organized syndication from commercial lenders, including 30 million euros from Erste Group Bank AG, 35 million euros from Belgrade-based Komercijalna Banka AD, 5 million euros from Cacanska Banka AD and 10 million euros from the Serb unit of Banca Intesa SpA.

“It’s a landmark transaction, one of the biggest this year in southeast Europe” said Guy Ellena, an IFC director, during a signing ceremony with Farmakom owner and manager Miroslav Bogicevic.

The company, which has mining, agriculture, retail and dairy units, will use the loan to “restructure its balance sheet” and expand operations, Bogicevic said. The company had revenue of 300 million euros last year and plans to open four mines next year, digging zinc, antimony, lead and gold.

The eight-year loan comes with a two-year grace period the Euribor rate plus 6.5 percent. The rate will fall to the Euribor rate plus 4 percent once Farmakom MB “improves its corporate governance structure,” said Vladimir Zivanovic, Farmakom’s chief for investments and development.

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