IIC Approved A $3 Million Investment In Manufacturas Del Trópico, S.A, A Honduran Manufacturer Of Outdoor Casual Furniture

12/12/2000

The project will enable the company to increase sales to its U.S. client, and diversify its client base by developing European and Latin American markets WASHINGTON, D.C. - On December 1, 2000, the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC)1 approved a $1.5 million senior loan to and a $1.5 million quasi-equity investment in Manufacturas del Trópico, a manufacturer of outdoor casual furniture in Choloma, Honduras. The furniture is presently sold in the U.S. under the Weathercraft brand name and distributed by a U.S. furniture company that produces and distributes high quality furniture to the high-end segment of the market.

The project involves the expansion of Del Trópico's production facilities by moving some of its processes to new production facilities and expanding existing production areas. It calls for building 8,050 square meters of additional industrial space, buying and installing production equipment, enhancing the plant's environmental and labor conditions, improving the company´s MIS system and supplying the required working capital to support the increased production and sales stemming from the expansion. The environmental and labor improvements include building a sewage treatment plant, installing additional fire detectors and fire control equipment, installing air extractors in the finishing plant, and installing emergency lights.

Under its agreement with the U.S. furniture company, Del Trópico has not only been able to secure a stable market for its products in the U.S. but has also gained significant knowledge of modern techniques applicable to the manufacturing of casual furniture. Funding for its modernization and expansion project will enable the company to expand its sales to the U.S. distributor and develop new markets on its own. These measures will increase the company's competitiveness and market diversification, helping it move a step further in its consolidation as a world class furniture manufacturer. Helping companies that operate under strategic alliance agreements with foreign manufacturers and distributors is one of the IIC's developmental goals.

Through the proposed project, Del Trópico will generate 600 new jobs. A total of approximately $68 million of additional foreign exchange is expected to be generated over an eight-year period. This is of particular importance at a time when Honduras is struggling to recover from the effects of Hurricane Mitch.

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1 The Inter-American Investment Corporation is a multilateral financial institution that is part of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. It provides financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IIC's mission is to promote the economic development of its regional borrowing member countries by stimulating the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. The IIC has thirty-six member countries: twenty-five in Latin America and the Caribbean and eight in Europe, plus the United States, Japan, and Israel. For further information on IIC's activities please contact Mr. Jorge Roldán at 202-623-3948.

Contact: Steven Reed

Telephone: (202) 623-3981

Email: stevenr@iadb.org