IFC may back Phoenix for agri supply-chain investments in India, other regions
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International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, plans to provide up to $20 million (around Rs 146 crore) in trade finance to Dubai-based commodities company Phoenix Global DMCC.

The investment is part of a trade finance facility of $80 million being arranged for by the Swiss unit of French lender BNP Paribas, IFC said in a disclosure.

The facility will support Phoenix’s agri commodity supply chain business in Africa and other regions which include Ukraine, Russia and India, IFC added. 

The investment proposal will be placed before IFC’s board in January next year.

Phoenix Group is an agri-food and natural resources enterprise. It is engaged in the food value chain ranging from production to retail distribution. Its key products are rice, pulses, specialty crops, sugar and wheat.

The natural resources business includes global trade and distribution of coal and iron ore, according to its website.

Phoenix has a presence in over 24 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (post-Soviet republics). It employs over 2,500 people.

Dubai-based Phoenix Global DMCC is the subsidiary of Phoenix Commodities Pvt. Ltd which is registered in the British Virgin Islands. Phoenix Commodities is majority-owned by its chief executive Gaurav Dhawan.

In March, Phoenix Group had agreed to invest in the debt-laden Kenya operations of rose exporter Karuturi Global Ltd.

IFC had recently proposed to provide debt financing of $10 million to support Phoenix’s establishment of a greenfield fruit orchard in Kazakhstan.

Apart from providing debt financing, IFC also makes direct private equity-style investments. It also backs private equity and venture capital funds.

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