The FINANCIAL — The EBRD is investing €6 million through a capital increase in the leading Macedonian wine producer Tikves a.d. to further enhance the company’s operations through improvements in the quality and selection of wines and to boost its competitive position.
The investment will also increase competition within the wine sector throughout the whole Western Balkans region.
The funding will be used to provide the company with a sustainable financial basis for future growth by funding further modernisation investments and increasing the company’s visibility, while building on Tikves’ existing strong brand-name and its distribution network in the country and the whole region. The capital increase, as well as the appointment of EBRD senior banker Mrs Vedrana Jelusic-Kasic to the Supervisory Board of Tikves a.d., was approved by the company’s shareholders’ meeting on 31 October 2008.
Tikves has an annual processing capacity of 50 million kilograms of grapes and a production capacity of 35 million litres of wine and exports more than half of its production, mainly to the former Yugoslav countries. To date, the company has won around 2,000 quality awards for its wines on domestic and international fairs and is most known for its brands T’ga za jug and Alexandria.
“The EBRD is attracted to Tikves by its strong market position on the domestic market and in the neighbouring countries” said Elena Urumovska, Head of EBRD’s Resident Office in Skopje. “This is a particularly important project for the EBRD as it not only supports a successful privately owned Macedonian winery, but it also increases competition in the wine sector in the region which is famous for its vineyards” added Elena Urumovska.
“EBRD’s decision to invest in Tikves is recognition of the process of modernization and business restructuring, which were our key focus areas in the past four years. At the same time, EBRD’s support will help the company to continue its development and to expand from a regional leader into a global market player” underlined Mr. Svetozar Janevski, President of Tikves Management Board.
Tikves dates back to 1885 when it was a small family-owned winery in the Tikves region. The company now has the largest processing capacity for wine in south-eastern Europe.
The €6 million equity investment is being arranged under the EBRD–Italy Western Balkans Local Enterprise Facility. This facility was established by the EBRD with financial contributions and support from the Italian government. WB LEF is contributing to the economic recovery of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, including Kosovo) through the provision of mainly equity and quasi equity financing to small and medium local enterprises.
In the agribusiness sector, the EBRD has directly committed more than €4.8 billion in over 320 projects across central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. EBRD’s investments in FYR Macedonia to date amount to more than €460 million and the Bank has helped raise a further €566 million from partners.