KAZAKHSTAN – Caspian Beverage Holding, one of the leading beverage producers in Kazakhstan, is embarking on an expansion project seeking to enlarge its distribution network following a new financing deal with an European institutional investor.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed to facilitate the company’s expansion with a US$4 million five-year loan, which is expected to increase Caspian’s market share in Kazakhstan and improve the company’s operational efficiency as well as that of its subsidiaries.

Caspian Beverage intends to use the funds in procuring ozone-friendly refrigerators “which are compliant with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) using a natural, non-toxic and ozone-friendly hydrocarbon refrigerant also known as R290,” EBRD disclosed.

In addition, Caspian also intends to use the funds to support its working capital needs, including the acquisition of beer kegs and other specialised equipment.

This is one of the latest financial interventions deployed by EBRD to support food and beverage companies around the world. The bank recently announced that it is extending a €3 million loan to Lantmännen Axa, a leading producer of breakfast cereals in Ukraine that is owned by Sweden’s largest agribusiness cooperative, Lantmännen.

The Bank said the funds will secure the firm’s financial stability, allowing Lantmännen Axa to implement an investment programme to diversify its product range, which currently includes muesli, granola and cereal bars, to introduce energy efficiency measures and eventually to expand production.

As demand for pulses spikes around the world in response to the coronavirus outbreak, EBRD provided a €25 million working capital loan to Turkish pulses producer Yayla to increase its production and meet the rising demand.

In 2017, Yayla launched the production of ready-to-eat meals with a €20 million loan from the EBRD and the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) for the construction of a production facility in Mersin, south-eastern Turkey.

Anadolu Etap, the leading fruit producer in Turkey, has also secured a €60 million (US$67 million) financing arrangement with the Bank to ensure greater flexibility and provide additional resources for the company’s growth.