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IFC, EBRD, and CRG Capital launch first restructuring fund for central, eastern Europe to support region’s recovery

January 11, 2010 | Cbonds

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; and CRG Capital, a leading restructuring fund manager have launched the first fund dedicated to investing in distressed assets in Central and Eastern Europe.

The CEE Special Situations Fund will invest in underperforming companies to support recovery in the region. It is being established by CRG Capital. The fund aims to raise ?200 million, with EBRD, IFC, and CRG Capital initially committing a total of ?36 million. It will focus on the acquisition, turnaround, and resolution of corporate distressed assets in Central and Eastern Europe.

The fund forms part of the Debt and Asset Recovery Program launched by IFC during the 2009 World Bank Group’s Annual Meetings in October.

Parham Pouladdej, Managing Director of CRG Capital, said, “We are very pleased with the fund’s first closing and the cornerstone investors’ confidence, support, and commitment. This successful closing reflects our track record, the strength of our team and investment strategy, as well as our unique positioning. While challenging, the current environment provides substantial opportunities to capitalize on throughout the region.”

Varel Freeman, EBRD First Vice President, said, “The EBRD’s participation in the fund will support the development of private equity investments in companies that have been adversely affected by the economic crisis. The fund will support an established management group that will bring new skills to support the recovery of viable, but struggling, companies.”

Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, said, "We are pleased to work with EBRD and CRG Capital on this important initiative for Central and Eastern Europe. By addressing the problem of bad debts, we are helping restore the long-term viability of the regional financial system so that individuals and small and medium businesses can gain better access to affordable finance." The Debt and Asset Recovery Program is a key element of IFC’s strategy to support the Europe and Central Asia region.

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