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EBRD earmarks $200 mln for Egypt agri firm Beyti

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided Egyptian dairy and juice producer, the International Company for Agricultural Industries Projects (Beyti) a $44 million loan, the bank announced on Wednesday.

The loan includes a committed tranche of up to 150 million Egyptian pounds ($8.4 million) and an uncommitted tranche for up to US$ 35.5 million or the equivalent in Egyptian pounds.

The EBRD funding will enable the company to refinance existing short-term loans with a longer tenor loan more suitable for its investment and development phase, the bank added. The loan will also fund new investments to expand the company’s production and logistical capacities to cope with the rapidly growing national and regional dairy and juice sectors in Egypt.

The Egyptian company also aims to reduce its carbon footprint with more efficient use of water and energy and the deployment of renewable energy sources. Plans include shifting to the use of solar energy and improving waste water treatment which in turn reduces carbon emissions.

Beyti is also working on enhancing their corporate standards and business conduct by promoting equal opportunity policies and practices, which in turn will contribute to increasing women’s participation in the workforce. The company received an EBRD Environmental and Social Award in recognition of its efforts so far in the development of a gender equality action plan.

The EBRD’s investment will also support market expansion of the dairy and juice sectors in Egypt by strengthening backward and forward linkages. This includes increasing production of raw milk and fruit concentrate at local dairy farms and juice concentrate producers, and expanding Beyti’s logistical capacity in both sectors by increasing the number of distribution centres and delivery capacity, hence achieving a higher number of sales points in the country.

“… our agreement with the EBRD that will create new opportunities for our business. Partnering with a financial institution that puts such focus on promoting environmentally and socially sound and sustainable development is of added value to any business.” Mohamed Badran, chief executive of Beyti, said.

“We look forward to increasing strategic cooperation in Egypt and other common countries of operations.” Tarek El Sherbini, EBRD Head of Agribusiness for the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, said.

Beyti is 52 per cent owned by Almarai Company, one of the largest integrated consumer food producers in the MENA region, headquartered in Saudi Arabia, and 48 per cent by PepsiCo Inc., one of the largest producers of beverages and snacks in the world.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has been a country of operations since 2012. To date, EBRD has invested over €4 billion ($4.5 billion) in 85 projects in the country. The European bank has also provided technical assistance to more than 700 small and medium-sized local enterprises.

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