SwanLake Capital is pleased to announce the closing of the 1st transaction in the history of Belarus to attract mezzanine financing for our client Pharmacy Group – pharmaceutical holding No. 1 in Belarus. The investor was the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The deal was preceded by months of painstaking work by the teams of SwanLake Capital, Pharmacy Group and the EBRD.
Belarusian consumers will have access to a wider range of high-quality medicines as a result of the opening of new pharmacies throughout Belarus. Supported by the EBRD, the expansion of pharmaceutical holding No. 1 “Pharmacy Group” in Belarus involves doubling the number of pharmacies by the end of 2021.
Mezzanine financing of up to 5 million euros, provided by the European Bank LLC “Management Company of the holding “Pharmacy Group” for five years, will help the pharmaceutical network to maintain its leading market positions. This will ensure the opening of new pharmacies for both pharmaceutical retail brands – Adel and Dobrya Leki.
This is the first mezzanine financing project organized by the EBRD in Belarus. Mezzanine financing, in which equity instruments are embedded and which, as a rule, is an intermediate option between debt and equity financing, is common on international markets, but is being introduced in Belarus only now.
Alexander Pivovarsky, Head of the EBRD Representative Office in Belarus, said: “This deal is very important for several reasons. Firstly, it is support for the expansion of a well-established player in the market who cares about the welfare of people in Belarus. Secondly, we are introducing new financial products in the country, which will give more flexibility to our customers.”
Leonid Tomchin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Apteka Group Holding: “This is the first mezzanine foreign exchange financing project implemented by the EBRD directly to a pharmaceutical holding with Belarusian residency. Its implementation was preceded by lengthy negotiations and serious work of analysts, lawyers, consultants. The agreement we signed today with the EBRD testifies to the growing interest and trust of international financial organizations in the economic development of advanced enterprises in our country and provides an additional inflow of foreign currency funds into the economy of Belarus. We hope that our example will open a window of new financial opportunities for Belarusian companies.”
Since the beginning of its activity in Belarus in 1992, the EBRD has invested almost 2 billion. euro in 95 projects in various sectors of the country’s economy.