EUROPE – Sodrugestvo Group, an international agro-industrial conglomerate incorporated in Luxembourg, has secured a USS$130 million financing arrangement to facilitate expansion its agro-processing activities in Europe.

Sodrugestvo Group plans to use the US$130m from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to boost cross-border cooperation and benefit local farmers, sourcing, transportation, processing and distribution of animal feed products.

The European development bank revealed that the financing arrangement will be in form of a syndicated loan consisting of an A-loan of up to US$85 million for the Bank’s own account and a B-loan of up to US$45 million, which may be syndicated to commercial banks.

The agro-processor intends to channel up to US$25 million to Sodrugestvo Trans-Agro, the largest private owner of grain-hopper railcars in Belarus for the acquisition of 216 hoppers as part of its strategic move to decrease reliance on cargo services provided by state-owned railway companies and strengthen its market position.

The Group will use an additional US$55 million on Belagroterminal, the operator of a multi seeds crushing plant, for balance sheet restructuring and for the construction of a biomass boiler house at its principal manufacturing site in Smorgon, north-western Belarus.

Sodrugestvo says that the biomass boiler house will help reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by around 41,000 tonnes. The remaining US$50 million will be provided to support working capital needs of Belagroterminal.

The congromelate will also aim to establish closer ties with rapeseed and soybean farmers in Belarus and neighbouring region through its development programme supported by the EBRD to stimulate primary agriculture and promote cross-border trade.

In January this year, Sodrugestvo also closed a US$90 million long-term financing from the EBRD to boost its operations in Turkey and Eastern Europe. The company was to refinance its acquisition of multi-seeds crushing plant in Izmir, Turkey from Altinyag Kombinalari Anonim Sirketi.

Sodrugestvo Group now owns and operates some of the largest soybean processing complex in Europe and ranks among the top 20 soybean processors in the world. Sodrugestvo is currently the largest oilseed crusher in Europe.

Headquartered in Luxembourg, the company also owns and operates production and port assets in Belarus, Brazil, Paraguay, Russia, and Turkey exporting manufactured and traded products to over 60 countries.

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