The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will provide up to US$150mn to Brazil’s Ipiranga Petroquimica, one of the leading producers of polyolefins in Latin America. IFC’s nine-year financing will support the company’s corporate initiatives, including process improvements and de-bottlenecking of operations.

The financing consists of a US$50mn loan for IFC’s own account and a syndicated loan of up to US$100mn.

“This transaction fits well with IFC’s strategy to support export-oriented and growth-generating companies in Brazil. We expect this long-term financing will strengthen Ipiranga Petroquimica’s leading role in its sector. We look forward to continuing to work with companies that share IFC’s vision for excellence and sustainability,” says Atul Mehta, IFC’s country manager for Brazil.

Rashad Kaldany, IFC’s director for oil, gas, mining, and chemicals, notes: “IFC has played a significant role in developing Brazil’s petrochemical industry, dating back to our financing of the country’s first petrochemical project in the early 1970s. The sector is now in a second phase of consolidation aimed at enhancing its global competitiveness. IFC’s strategy is to support this industry by assisting key players like Ipiranga Petroquimica, as they strengthen their balance sheets, modernize operations, and improve their sustainability policies and practices.”

Paulo Magalhaes, CEO of Ipiranga Petroquimica, adds: “IFC has been involved with Ipiranga since our startup in 1980 – and it has supported us through both good and bad times. We value our long-term partnership, and IFC’s support is helping broaden our sources of capital and strengthen our sustainability.”
At the end of fiscal 2004 (June 30, 2004), IFC’s portfolio in Brazil was US$1.48bn, including US$410mn from banks participating in syndications. IFC’s strategy aims to enhance the prospects for competitiveness and growth in Brazil and to improve the country’s social equity through voluntary actions by the private sector.

IFC is supporting growth-generating firms with a wide network of stakeholders and export-enhancing sectors such as infrastructure and logistics, as well as improving access to long-term financing. IFC is also contributing to a growing momentum for socially responsibility in Brazil’s private sector. This includes supporting firms committed to environmental and social sustainability, helping improve corporate governance, and facilitating microfinance and socially-oriented entrepreneurship.