IFC likely to extend $10m debt to Phoenix Commodities’ Kazakhstan project

Deal Street Asia | 12 October 2018

IFC likely to extend $10m debt to Phoenix Commodities’ Kazakhstan project

Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc

International Finance Corporation (IFC) is looking to extend a $10-million loan facility to a greenfield orchard project, developed by Phoenix Commodities, in Kazakhstan, according to its filing.

Phoenix Commodities, a global agri-business with presence across Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, will establish a wholly-owned subsidiary, Phoenix Fruits LLP, to set the project, which is estimated to cost $80 million.

Apart from IFC’s proposed debt, the project financing comprises local debt and equity injection from Phoenix.

“IFC’s investment will help address the long-term funding needs and facilitate raising of additional financing; share best practice food safety standards; and improve the environmental and social practices,” the World Bank Group’s financial arm said in a proposal.

Phoenix Fruits, headquartered in Almaty, is in process of securing several greenfield sites for the fruit orchard, IFC added.

It said, the impact of the project is meaningful for the development of the fruit value chain for Kazakhstan through demonstration and replication effect on other sector players. In addition, it will also play an important role in job creation with strong contribution to female employment.

The investment is also expected to help Phoenix improve yield at the orchards, putting in place processing and storage capacities, to contribute to value chain strengthening over time and position Kazakhstan as potential net exporter of fruit.

Phoenix Commodities, established in 2001, is a private company majority-owned by its CEO Gaurav Dhawan. The firm is engaged in the production, procurement, processing, merchandising, wholesale, and distribution of its farming and mining products. The company estimated its last year revenue at $2 billion.

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