(Photo: Javier Goñi, CEO of Ledesma)

Ledesma SAIC, one of the Argentine largest agro-industrial company, subscribed a US$90 million loan with the Dutch FMO bank and the Rabobank, to consolidate its Genesis XXI plan, which it was created to expand the operation, support the innovation and consolidate the competitiveness of the company. Furthermore and according to the press release, the funds will apply to roll its short-term debt and to re-buy its corporate bonds.

“A part of the investment will be applied to improve the productivity of the sugarcane farms, incorporating new technologies and infrastructure, while another part of the funds will be directed to the paper unit business”, the press release explains.

The loan could be expanded to US$110 million and was agreed to seven years term with two years grace period. The Rabobank acted as financial adviser of the operation.

According to the media, the Peso devaluation in 2018 and the high-interest rates negatively impacted on the financial results, which forced the company to renegotiate its debt.

Created 111 years ago, Ledesma is the largest Argentine sugar producer, accounting 17% of the national output. Also, the company produces ethanol from sugarcane and alcohol and paper and copybooks with the “bagasse”, a fiber byproduct of the cane.

Based on the Jujuy province, the company has more than 3,000 hectares destined to orange, grapefruit and lemon crops; fresh fruit which is harvested, processed and sold. With a 10% market share, Ledesma is the second-largest Argentine exporter of citrus fruits and the main producer and exporter of oranges in the country. Finally, the Blaquier family (owners of the company) operates 52,000 hectares of cash crops and livestock production, including one of the largest pork farms in the country.