Argentinian soy giant Vicentin secures US$150m loan

By Niamh Michail

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/scalatore1959
© GettyImages/scalatore1959
Argentina's biggest oilseed crusher has secured a loan of US$150 million from the Dutch development bank, FMO, and Crédit Agricole.

The financing package consists of a five-year US$45m loan provided by FMO and a three-year US$105m loan from commercial banks, including CACIB, financial institutions, and investment funds.

FMO is the Dutch development bank while CACIB is the corporate and investment banking arm of Crédit Agricole Group.

In addition to FMO and CACIB, Natixis and Rabobank acted as mandated lead arrangers while other participating institutions were the DZ Bank AG Deutsche, Bank of China, Finantia UK and two investment funds of Federated Investors.

The interest rate that Vicentin will pay was not disclosed.

According to a joint statement issued by the companies, the size of this transaction shows investors’ confidence in Argentina, against the backdrop of the country’s economic downturn.

Last year, the country’s economy underwent a massive downturn with high interest rates, inflation running at almost 50% and the value of the peso plummeting against the US dollar and other currencies. Farmers, suppliers, and manufacturers also had to face the additional challenges brought by a drought that severely impacted agricultural yields.

Founded in 1929, Vicentin is Argentina’s biggest oilseed crusher, with a crushing capacity of 34,500 tons per day. It counts 1,300 employees and works with over 2,000 farmers and grain traders.

Through its subsidiaries and in addition to soy, it also produces cereals, grape juice, beef, cotton, wine, and honey as well as added-value ingredients such as vegetable oils, edible oils, pellets, flours, and lecithin.

Through its affiliate Renova, Vicentin also operates the Timbúes crushing and port complex.

Linda Broekhuizen, chief investment officer at FMO described Vicentin as a key player in Argentina’s agribusiness and export sectors.

"Long-term capital is not readily available in Argentina,” ​she added. “We are proud that, together with CACIB, we were able to mobilize such a strong group of financing partners for this syndicate and thus strengthen Argentina’s contribution to global markets.”

Vicentin’s CFO Roberto Gazze said the ​financing package structured by FMO and CACIB will support and strengthen its competitiveness.

Sebastian Gurmendi, senior country officer for CACIB Argentina, said it was an honor for CACIB to provide pre-export financing for its historical client, Vicentin, and added that 2019 would be remembered as “a record harvest for Argentina​”.

FMO says its aim is to support sustainable private sector growth in developing countries and emerging markets by investing in three sectors with high development impact: financial institutions; energy; and agribusiness, food and water.

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