EBRD backs Louis Dreyfus’ expansion with $100m loan

The new line of credit will finance LDC’s working capital needs in eight countries in Eastern Europe and North Africa.

The Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), a Rotterdam-based agribusiness, has secured a $100 million line of credit from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which it will use to expand its activities in eight countries.

The new facility extends the relationship between LDC and EBRD, who have worked together in the Ukraine since 2000, to Eastern Europe, central Asia and North Africa.

It will finance LDC’s working capital needs in Bulgaria, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine, while allowing the Dutch company to enter Tajikistan for the first time, where it will focus on the cotton industry, EBRD said in a statement.

According to an LDC spokesperson, in addition to cotton, the firm will also be targeting grains, oilseeds, as well as some sugar and dairy products in these eight countries.

The project aims to bring agri producers in eastern Europe closer to consumers in North Africa, in part by streamlining wheat and corn exports from Ukraine to Egypt. Not only will this “help strengthen global food security,” but the two groups will continue policy dialogue in both regions to improve regulations and public-private collaboration, EBRD said.

“LDC has a very good, on-going collaboration with the EBRD,” LDC’s spokesperson said in an e-mailed response. “Since 2006 we have expanded our cooperation to include several countries in the region,” the spokesperson said, adding that the collaboration in the Ukraine was country-specific and of a much smaller scope.

In addition to supporting LDC, the bank has invested €10.6 billion in the agribusiness sector through 608 projects to date. In 2016, alone the bank invested €840 million in 55 agribusiness projects.

According to LDC’s website, the company has been active since 1851 and covers the entire value chain, from origination to distribution. The company works in collecting, storing, processing, exporting and importing agricultural goods.