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EBRD approves €20m loan for Turkey’s Yayla Agro

The capital injection will allow the company, a leading producer of pulses and rice, to refinance part of its existing debt, expand into organic ready-to-eat products and strengthen its ESG program.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is backing Yayla Agro, one of Turkey’s leading producers and processors of pulses and rice, through a €20 million senior loan.

A portion of the loan –  €6 million – will be provided by the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), which is responsible for Taipei’s overseas development program. “It is the first EBRD co-financing with TaiwanICDF in Turkey’s corporate sector and part of the bank’s efforts to attract new institutional investors to the country,” EBRD said in a statement.

Yayla Agro, which is family-owned, will use the funds to refinance a portion of its existing short-term loans and to finance its working capital needs as it establishes a new plant to expand into the ‘ready-to-eat’ market.

Headquartered in Ankara, Yayla Agro currently operates three plants in Mersin and Kazan, whose overall capacity totals 820,000 tons per year. The company exports to more than 45 countries and has nearly tripled its sales over the past three years, according to the statement.

A portion of the €20 million loan will also be used to improve the company’s environmental and social and governance program, an area that was deemed in need of improvement during the due diligence process.

With the help of the EBRD, Yayla Agro has adopted an environmental and social action plan that focuses on proper risk assessment and incident analysis, contractor and supply chain management, human resources and social practices.

“[The] EBRD loan shows the confidence of Turkish economy, and Yayla will focus on new markets and new categories thanks to [the] EBRD partnership,” a Yayla spokesperson told Agri Investor.

The European Bank has been investing in Turkey since 2009, and considers it a top destination for its finance. Last year, EBRD invested €1.9 billion in a number of the country’s sectors. Its support for the agribusiness sector includes financing to companies such as Anatolian Orchards, which is predominantly active in the processing of fruit juice concentrate and puree and fruit farming; Reka Edible Oil, which operates one of the largest oilseed crushing plants in Turkey; and dairy producer Yörsan.