The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) jointly granted a € 21 million ($ 25 million) loan to Turkey’s largest producer of wet wipes Sapro on Monday for supporting business growth and improving sustainability.
The loan, split equally between the EBRD and TSKB, will finance Sapro’s increased working capital needs and a new line of biodegradable wet wipes, according to an EBRD statement.
As demand for wet wipes increased due to the coronavirus outbreak, Sapro’s production facility has been operating at near full capacity.
The company has already invested in measures to increase production and now plans to invest in greater sustainability by “designing waste” and thereby exceeding 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 jointly identified eligible businesses, he noted, adding that clients can use the loans to finance working capital, capital expenditures or refinance existing loans.
Sapro is part of the EBRD’s Blue Ribbon program, which combines advisory and financing services to give a significant boost to high potential companies.
Founded by Ceyhun Zincirkıran and Mehmet Gündoğdu in 1997, Sapro has since grown into Turkey’s largest producer of wet wipes in terms of capacity.
Some 75% of its sales are made in European markets, mainly as private label products for large European retail chains. In Turkey, Sapro produces wet wipes under the Hops brand.
“The EBRD is one of the most important international financial institutions in Europe. His contribution and support will help us achieve our goal of becoming the most important player in our sector, ”said Zincirkıran, co-owner and chairman of the board.
Frédéric 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 wet wipes market continues to grow in Turkey and beyond.
As a leading institutional investor in Turkey, the EBRD has invested 12.4 billion euros in more than 300 projects in the country since 2009, with almost all investments in the private sector.
The EBRD’s EUR 7 billion portfolio in Turkey is the largest of the 38 economies in which the bank invests.