Four European development finance institutions have sold their debt interests in an operator of three palm oil plantations in the Democratic Republic of Congo to an affiliate of Kuramo Capital Management, one of the company’s major investors. The four DFIs – BIO, CDC, DEG, and FMO – provided the business, Plantations et Huileries du Congo (or PHC), with financing between 2013 and 2015 in a bid to prevent the company from failing and save the thousands of jobs that depended on the plantations.
The sale of debt interests to Maku Holdings, the Kuramo affiliate, marks the DFIs’ belief that PHC has now been “…brought back from the brink of collapse.” PHC operates three, long-established, plantations – Lokutu, Yaligemba, and Baketa – which produce crude palm oil and palm kernel oil, providing livelihoods for several thousand people who are either directly or indirectly employed by the company. The plantations had suffered from years of underinvestment and disruption caused by the conflicts in the DRC, but now have been rebuilt and put back into production.
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