The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a EUR 20 million loan to Aluflexpack Group (AFP Group) to support the expansion of its flexible packaging product range and the further development of its aluminum-based products.
According to a press release issued by the EBRD, the loan agreement was signed Monday during EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett’s visit to Croatia.
The EBRD loan will be extended to three Croatian flexible packaging producers consolidated in the AFP Group – Aluflexpack Novi d.o.o., Omial Novi d.o.o. and TOF d.o.o. – which were acquired by Montana Tech Components AG in November 2012 from Hypo Alpe Adria Bank. The new Swiss owner introduced a comprehensive modernisation programme which was partly financed by a EUR 20 million EBRD loan in 2013.
"Aluflexpack Novi d.o.o., Omial Novi d.o.o. and TOF d.o.o. are located in regions of Croatia with high unemployment and a weak industrial base. The new EBRD loan will finance new production facilities leading to increased capacity), as well as development of new innovative and technologically complex products for which there is high local and international demand," the press release said.
Strengthening economic resilience in the countries where it invests is one of the EBRD’s key strategic priorities. The Bank is working towards improving the competitiveness of local businesses on domestic and international markets by supporting them with finance and through policy dialogue.
Igor Arbanas, CEO of AFP Group, said: “Our successful cooperation with the EBRD has helped develop AFP Group not only financially but also organisationally. Since 2013 the highly competent EBRD team has been a greatly appreciated and constructive partner. We are very happy about the further extension of our cooperation not only because it will help us serve our customers better, grow our business and further develop our organisation but also because it is a great confirmation of the successful development of AFP Group since joining the knowledgeable, experienced and globally active Montana Tech Components Group.”
The EBRD has been active in Croatia as an investor since the country’s independence and has invested some EUR 3.5 billion in 186 projects to date. The Bank’s activities include all sectors of the economy and are especially strong in the infrastructure, corporate, financial institutions and energy sectors.
The EBRD’s strategic plan for the countries where it invests, including Croatia, for the period 2016-18 has three priorities: strengthening economic resilience, addressing global challenges and supporting regional integration, the press release said.