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Proud to announce a $14.5 M Financing of an iconic Agro industrial F&B group in Lebanon

21, Apr. 2020 Press Releases

FFA Private Bank (“FFA”) announces the successful closing of a c.$14.5m restructuring of Cedar’s Premium Food and Beverage SAL (“CEDAR”) an iconic food and beverage group in Lebanon.

Capitalizing on an expertise spanning over 3 generations and that dates back to the first establishment in 1941, the managing team of CEDAR has positioned the company to grow in symbiosis with this new era of healthy and functional beverages both locally and internationally. “With FFA’s help and its multi-disciplinary approach to financing and financial restructuring we are ready to grow our local and export footprint”. Also, “our unique USDA and EU approved organic product range is very much in demand globally”, stated Hamid Najm, Chairman & CEO of CEDAR.

FFA's commitment to Lebanese productive sectors -the cornerstone of launching Lebanon’s economy- required from the Bank mobilizing all its resources and expertise from various departments (Investment Banking and Advisory, Structured Finance, Private Banking, Proprietary Investing, etc…) to ensure the success of this turn-around.

Putting back on track a major flagship industrial group is not the only achieved target. As importantly, the financing was structured in a way to enable disintermediation i.e. direct investors’ access to funding of Lebanese industrial companies. This offers Lebanese depositors and investors, hard hit by the current banking crisis, some possibilities to diversify their exposure and eventually cash back their investment outside of Lebanon. “Offering diversified investment opportunities while contributing significantly in financing productive sectors and developing disintermediated financing is at the core of FFA’s mission”, stated Jean Riachi, Chairman & CEO of FFA.

The restructuring of CEDAR was not solely a syndicated investment, it included the restructuring of the debt, an increase in capital, the rebalancing of maturities, a working capital financing and a new governance structure.

The c.$14.5m restructuring is broken down as follows:

i) $9.5m Syndicated Senior Secured Fiduciary Loan with grace period to enable the company to restructure internally and launch on a solid footing,
ii $3.2m capital increase to rebalance assets and liabilities maturities, and
iii) $1.8m Unsecured Term Loan.

The restructuring was designed to rebalance the assets and liabilities equating the assets return to liquidity with the capital structure maturity. The intervention also included a reporting and governance angle whereby an advisory team was selected to accompany the company over the next 5 years.

“We will dedicate even more firepower and resources to ensure long term strategic funding for our economy, with a focus on productive sectors, while offering diversified investment opportunities to private and institutional investors”, reaffirmed Jean Riachi. “Expect more good news soon”, he concluded.

About Cedar’s Premium Food and Beverage

CEDAR, carries 70 years of expertise through its owners, the builder of notorious brands “Najm” and “PAMPA” that has a long heritage in the Food and Beverage industry since 1941. CEDAR, through its state of the art industrial facility in Zakroun and its 5 diversified production lines, covers three major segments of fruit juices, carbonated soft drinks and non-alcoholic malts. CEDAR produces many brands/products amongst which Jalloul, Kazouza, California Garden (juice franchise), Fruit a day, Fruity King. CEDAR is licensed to produce carbonated drinks, juices and water and is ISO-22000 certified as well as US FDA, USDA and EU organic.

About FFA Private Bank

Founded in 1994, FFA was granted a specialized banking license in 2007 by Banque du Liban. The Bank also operates from within the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) through its subsidiary bank, FFA Private Bank (Dubai) Ltd. Today, FFA Group is one of the region’s leading banks specialized in Capital Markets, Wealth Management, Real Estate and Investment Banking. It has consolidated shareholders’ equity in excess of USD 45 million with extremely low sovereign and credit exposure and over USD 1.5 billion in total assets under management.

April 2020 FFA Private Bank