The EBRD is lending Kt5.2bn (€31.7mn) to Efes Karaganda Brewery to support its expansion in Kazakhstan. The transaction will be the first EBRD fixed interest rate loan denominated in tenge.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at Efes Breweries International NV’s (EBI) plant in Almaty, EBRD president Jean Lemierre said the project was an opportunity for the bank to provide local currency financing for one of the dynamically growing sectors in Kazakhstan and also strengthened the EBRD’s relationship with EBI and Anadolu Efes Biracve Malt San, the parent company of EBI with 70.2% shareholding and a dedicated investor with a long term vision for the region.

Alejandro Jimenez, CEO of EBI, added, “Our operations in Kazakhstan have developed into one of the leading businesses in the country. We appreciate the EBRD’s support in the continued development of our business in the country”.

Efes Kazakhstan was established in 1996 when EBI acquired the Kolos plant in Karaganda. This was followed by significant investments in capacity expansion. EBI conducts the beer operations of Anadolu Efes, a major international beverage group, in Russia, Kazakhstan, Serbia and Moldova.

The EBRD played a key role in financing the development of Efes Kazakhstan’s brewing capacity when the company built a greenfield plant in Almaty in 2001. The new financing will support investments to increase Efes Kazakhstan’s production capacity and to enhance its marketing and distribution across a country where per capita beer consumption has grown from six litres in 1999 to an estimated 30 litres in 2006. The company’s product portfolio in Kazakhstan includes a combination of strong local and international brands. Efes brands are sold in over 50 countries around the world.

The EBRD and EBI have been strategic partners since 1997 and to-date the bank has made loans to EBI totalling €94.5mn. The EBRD also continues to be a shareholder in EBI’s operations in Russia since 2001.

Since its establishment in 1991, the EBRD has signed more than 265 projects worth €4bn in the agribusiness sector alone.