IIC Approves A Loan Of Up To US$18 Million That Will Benefit Haiti'S Fuel Marketing And Distribution Sector

08/03/2009

The loan comprises an A loan of up to US$10 million and a B loan of up to US$8 million

Washington, D.C. - On August 4, 2009, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a loan of up to US$18 million to Distributeurs Nationaux, S.A. (Dinasa), a Haitian-owned company that is a leading marketer and distributor of fuel (including diesel, gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil, lubricants, and LPG) and has a 39% share of the Haitian market.

The loan will fund Dinasa’s acquisition of the assets and operations of Chevron Haiti Inc., making it possible to substantially increase the company’s market share. Chevron Haiti has the largest network of gas stations in Haiti, with fifty-eight service centers. It holds the exclusive concession for distributing aviation gasoline at Haiti’s two principal airports and is co-owner and operator of the main fuel storage terminal in Port-au-Prince.

The principal sponsor of this operation is GB Group, an economic conglomerate comprising seventeen manufacturing and marketing companies operating in different sectors and industries in Haiti. GB Group activities are broad in scope; its major interests are in the food and construction industries. It has some 1,500 employees.

Dinasa's other shareholder is Unifinance S.A., a Groupe Financier National company. The latter is a local financial conglomerate that includes Unibank S.A. and other companies in the sector.

The IIC is participating in this operation to support the Group by providing and mobilizing long-term financing for the acquisition. Such funding is scarce in Haiti. The IIC is also working closely with Dinasa to raise its awareness of environmental, health, and safety issues and improve its performance in these areas.

"Fuel distribution is critical for Haiti, but it is a sector where customer service is wanting, facilities are inadequate, and compliance with safety and environmental protection standards is poor. Dinasa has been building and upgrading facilities since its establishment in 2003, showing its commitment to good environmental and labor practices and seeking to spearhead change in the sector. Through the Korea-IIC SME Development Trust Fund, the Corporation has provided Dinasa with technical assistance for funding the initial environmental studies for phase I of the operation," said Jorge Ciurlizza, IIC Senior Investment Officer in charge of the operation.

"The GB Group is happy to be making this important investment in Haiti’s energy sector. Together with Unifinance, our partner in Dinasa, we are confident of the future economic development of the country. We, at the GB Group, see this addition to our energy activities as an opportunity to grow with the larger economy in Haiti and the region. We are very appreciative of the confidence the IIC has shown in us by extending this credit facility. Our interaction with the IIC has been very constructive and helped us move smoothly and quickly through the details of the transaction," remarked Mr. Gilbert Bigio, President, GB Group.

The IIC is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) 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. In 2008, the IIC reached US$1.5 billion in assets and approved sixty-four operations channeling US$300.5 million to SMEs in the region. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.int.

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Contact Information (press)
Sylvia Szankay
+1 (202) 623-3878
sylviasz@iadb.org

Contact: Jorge Ciurlizza (in Washington, D.C.)

Telephone: (202) 623-3932

Email: jorgeci@iadb.org