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Gorenje and IFC Sign EUR 25m Deal

Velenje, 07 June (STA) - Franjo Bobinac of home appliance maker Gorenje and Dimitris Tsitsiragos of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed on Monday an agreement on a EUR 25m investment by the IFC as part of the first round of the capital increase at Gorenje.

Bobinac told the press in Velenje that the IFC entering the ownership structure of Gorenje will enable the company to restructure, speed up the development of environmentally friendly products and services and preserve jobs in the region.

The IFC, which operates under the auspices of the World Bank, will also provide EUR 50m for restructuring of Gorenje's long-term debt and organise a EUR 100m credit line from banks.

The investment package by the IFC will enable Gorenje to modernise its operations and thereby improve the competitiveness of its products, strengthen high-end product lines and increase productivity.

"We will use the funds obtained to carry out takeovers, restructure existing activities and speed up the development of new activities," Gorenje's boss said, forecasting stable mid-term and long-term growth for Gorenje.

Tsitsiragos also sees expansion and modernisation possibilities for Gorenje as a result of the IFC's investment. According to him, the IFC is a strong supporter of Gornje's increasing focus on green technology and better solutions in waste management.

Drawing on a wealth of experience, the IFC will also help Gorenje improve business effectiveness and assist in efforts for greater energy efficiency.

The expansion and development of the company will for their part enable the transfer of top production methods and practice through connections with networks of local suppliers, Tsitsiragos added.

Asked about his view of the state holding 25.1% in Gorenje, the IFC official said that the future handling of this stake is a matter of the Slovenian government.

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