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EBRD acquires 13% stake in Romania’s Agricover

The development bank will pay $8m for its share just months after the agri trader received nearly twice as much from the IFC.

Autumn landscape in Magura village (Romania) with a cow eating grass.
The development bank will pay $8m for its share just months after the agri trader received nearly twice as much from the IFC.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is backing Agricover Holding, a major player in Romania’s agricultural sector, by agreeing to pay 32 million Romanian leu ($8.2 million; €7.0 million) for a 13 percent share in the company.

“The funding will allow the firm to meet the growing financing needs of local farmers and will ensure that a larger number of small- and medium-sized farms will gain access to modern technologies and markets,” the EBRD said.

The company is one of the largest agri traders in the country and its main operations include: grain sourcing, trading and logistics services; distribution of agricultural inputs to farmers; provision of financing to farmers; fuel distribution to agriculture; and trading of meat and livestock. Its subsidiary Agricover Credit IFN offers short-term working capital financing and medium-term investment loans to farmers in the vegetal, animal breeding, milk production and processing sectors.

The firm provided 1.0 billion leu in financing last year, according to the EBRD.

“We are joining forces with EBRD to accelerate our support for the development of modern agriculture in Romania,” said Jabbar Kanani, Agricover Holding’s president. “Together with the Bank, we will continue to provide farmers with innovative solutions designed to enhance the performance of their farming activities.”

Founded in 2000, the Bucharest-based company employs 850 people and supports more than 4,500 farmers through its two main subsidiaries, Agricover SRL and Agricover Credit IFN. Last year, the company reported a turnover of 1.2 billion leu.

EBRD’s investment comes a few months after the company’s financing arm secured a 70 million leu loan from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation. The funds are supporting the company’s short-term loans to small- and medium-size enterprise farmers in Romania.