IFC to loan up to €90m to KKR’s Afriflora

The World Bank Group lender will lend up to €90m to the rose farm to help support a 50% hike in staff numbers and an expansion of the business in a deal that "complements" KKR's $200m equity investment last year.

The World Bank Group lender International Finance Corp will lend up to €90 million to Afriflora, the Ethiopian rose grower and distributor and portfolio company of KKR, the private equity giant.

KKR invested $200 million into Afriflora last year and is the company’s largest shareholder, according to an IFC announcement.

IFC’s loan complements KKR’s investment, reads the release, and the extra funds will be used to help Afriflora expand production by 60 percent by installing new water recycling facilities and employing 50 percent more staff.

“The horticulture industry holds great potential for creating jobs, generating economic growth, and reducing poverty,” wrote German Vegarra, IFC head of manufacturing, agribusiness and services in Africa in the press release. “Ethiopia’s climate, land and water resources can make it a strong competitor in the European market for cut flowers and this investment will help develop the logistics, cold storage and transport required to fulfill this potential.”

The company currently employs 9,000 workers of which more than 80 percent are women.

“Afriflora is a great example of a company that is doing well whilst being a responsible and meaningful contributor to the local community,” said Kayode Akinola, head of KKR’s efforts in Africa, in the release. “The partnership with the IFC and their support with Afriflora’s expansion will go a long way to further amplifying the company’s commitment to sustainable development and its positive, local impact.”