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EBRD offloads stake in Cyprus agribusiness group Agri Europe

FBR Staff Writer Published 08 February 2017

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has offloaded its stake in Cyprus registered agribusiness group Agri Europe for an undisclosed price to an unnamed entity.

Agri Europe, which primarily operates in Serbia and Ukraine, had secured an investment of €50m from EBRD in 2013.

The investment by the bank was to help in the expansion of Agri Europe’s farming and meat processing operations which included improving the company’s silo infrastructure, agriculture equipment as well as working capital financing.

EBRD central and south-eastern Europe agribusiness regional head Miljan Zdrale said that the equity partnership with Agri Europe had been profitable for all parties.

Zdrale added: “Over the years the company has grown into the leading and most active player in numerous industries. After our exit we will remain in close contact and review selected investment proposals which meet the EBRD’s strategy and transition objectives for the sector and the region with the aim to successfully cooperate on new projects, hopefully in the near future.”

EBRD had previously helped Agri Europe’s core agriculture operations in Ukraine with a loan of $7m, six years before the equity investment.

The bank stated that it had also facilitated the agribusiness’ first syndicated loan of €80m with global banks following the worldwide financial crisis.

Agri Europe board of directors president said: “Working together we made good progress in different areas of business and corporate governance, providing a solid basis for future long-term growth. We believe that together we found a proper balance between the relevant expertise of the EBRD and the vision and entrepreneurship of the company.”

Agri Europe is into sugar and meat processing along with farming. The agribusiness group's holding members include Serbian agri producer and trader MK Group, Ukranian agri producer AgroInvest and Serbian sugar producer and exporter Sunoko.

Image: EBRD exited from its equity partnership with Agri Europe. Photo: courtesy of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.