CMS Cameron McKenna has supported the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in its loan of up to USD 60 million to Brooklyn-Kiev LLC, a leading private stevedoring company in Ukraine, for the development of a grain trans-shipment terminal in the Port of Odessa with an anticipated annual throughput capacity of up to 4.5 million tons of grain.
The project will be implemented jointly with Louis Dreyfus Commodities, a global leader in agribusiness, according to an agreement signed by the two companies, which intends to establish a joint venture for the development and management of the terminal and related activities. In addition to addressing the shortage of modern, deep-water port grain trans-shipment capacity in Ukraine, the terminal is expected to benefit the region by creating jobs and increase economic activity in the Port of Odessa area.
Due to record grain harvests in Ukraine in recent years (around 60 million tons in 2013) the country is becoming an important global grain supplier. In this regard the EBRD reports that it is "paying special attention to the development of port grain terminals, which handle over 95 per cent of grain exports from Ukraine.” Sevki Acuner, EBRD Director for Ukraine, said: “We know how important the agribusiness sector is for the economy of this country. The Bank is very pleased to support this venture, which is the product of a partnership between a major international commodity trader and a leading local stevedoring operator. It demonstrates that foreign and local investors have confidence in the sector and in Ukraine.”
And Sue Barrett, EBRD Director, Transport, commented: “The project has both regional and national significance. This investment will strengthen Odessa’s position as a major grain handling hub and support economic growth in Ukraine. It is part of the EBRD’s strategy to support integrated transport solutions in the countries where we work.”
The project is part of the EBRD’s efforts in Ukraine to support the real sector of the domestic economy. The Bank reports that it expects to invest around EUR 1 billion in the country in 2014, with the level of investment since February 2014 now standing at EUR 500 million. The EBRD is the largest financial investor in Ukraine, and as of the end of July 2014 the Bank has committed EUR 9.2 billion (USD 12.3 billion) through 329 projects in the country.
The EBRD legal team on the project was led by Counsel Viktor Antonov. Assistance on Ukrainian matters was provided by Kiev-based CMS Cameron McKenna Partner Daniel Bilak, and English-law support was provided by Bucharest-based CMS Partner Simon Dayes.