The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) on Monday jointly extended a loan of 21 million euros ($25 million) to Turkey’s leading wet wipes producer Sapro to support business growth and improve sustainability.
The loan, divided equally between the EBRD and TSKB, will finance Sapro's increased working capital needs and a new line of biodegradable wet wipes, according to a statement by EBRD.
As demand for wet wipes has surged due to the coronavirus outbreak, Sapro’s production facility has been working near full capacity.
The company has already invested in measures to grow production and is now planning to invest in greater sustainability by “designing out waste” and thereby exceed European environmental standards.
"The EBRD and TSKB are working together to improve and simplify access to finance for small- and medium-sized enterprises across Turkey," the statement said.
Under a risk-sharing agreement, the two lenders provide loans to eligible businesses identified jointly, it noted, saying clients can use the loans to finance working capital, capital expenditure or refinance existing loans.
Sapro is part of the EBRD's Blue Ribbon program, which combines advisory services and financing to provide a significant boost to high-potential companies.
Founded by Ceyhun Zincirkıran and Mehmet Gündoğdu in 1997, Sapro has since become Turkey’s largest wet wipes producer by capacity.
Some 75% of its sales are in European markets, primarily as private label products to large European retail chains. In Turkey, Sapro produces wet wipes under the brand name Hops.
“The EBRD is one of the most important international financial institutions in Europe. Its contribution and support will help us achieve our goal of becoming the most important player in our sector,” said Zincirkıran, co-owner and board chairperson.
Frederic Lucenet, EBRD director for manufacturing and services, said: “We are impressed with the story of this Turkish exporter. We see great potential and are happy to support Sapro’s growth as the market for wet wipes continues to grow in Turkey and elsewhere.”
As a leading institutional investor in Turkey, the EBRD has invested 12.4 billion euros in over 300 projects in the country since 2009, with almost all investments in the private sector.
The EBRD’s 7 billion-euro Turkey portfolio is the largest among the 38 economies where the bank invests.
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