Business news from Ukraine

Ukrainian Kormotech invests EUR60 mln in construction of factory in Lithuania

Kormotech, Ukraine’s largest manufacturer of cat and dog food, will implement a number of investment projects in Ukraine and Lithuania, where it has production facilities, as part of the development of its production capacities in 2023-2024, said the company’s beneficiary Rostyslav Vovk during a Business Breakfast with Forbes Ukraine on Wednesday.

According to him, Kormotech completed a 25% expansion of the company’s factory in Lithuania in the second quarter of 2023. In addition, in the third quarter, it will put into operation a new line at a factory in Lviv region for the production of wet fodder.

“EUR8m was invested in it (the new line at the factory in Lviv region), which allowed us to expand the plant’s production capacity by 65%. If earlier its capacity was 17,000 tons (of fodder – IF-U) per year, now it will be 27,000 tons,” he said.

In addition, according to the information of the company owner, at the end of 2023 Kormotech will start construction of a new factory in Lithuania, in which it will invest more than EUR60 mln.

“This factory will have the same capacity as our two factories in Ukraine. It will be plus 40 thousand tons. We should reach the launch of the first line in the middle of 2025,” Vovk emphasized.

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USAID invests $44 million to develop elevators of three Ukrainian grain exporting agroholdings

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced collaboration with three major Ukrainian agricultural holdings to develop their grain export and storage infrastructure for a total project investment of $44 million.
According to CNN’s website, the three companies are large Ukrainian agricultural producers Kernel, Nibulon and Grain Alliance.
It is specified that the cooperation with the companies will help increase Ukraine’s capacity to ship over 3 million tons of grain to foreign markets per year. Investments will be used to develop the infrastructure of agricultural products storage and expansion of elevators.
“This announcement is part of a deliberate effort by the Biden administration to develop Ukraine’s economy and mitigate the global food security crisis that escalated after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the publication specified in the report.
As earlier reported, before the war Kernel was the world’s number one producer and exporter of sunflower oil (about 7% of world production) and was the largest producer and seller of bottled sunflower oil in Ukraine. The company was also engaged in cultivation and sale of other agricultural products.
In FY2022 (July-2021 – June-2022), the holding posted a net loss of $41 mln versus $506 mln net profit in the previous FY. Its revenue decreased by 5% to $5.332 bln, and EBITDA decreased by 3.7 times to $220 mln.
Nibulon, one of the largest grain market operators in Ukraine, on April 15, 2022 received the permit from Izmail city council (Odessa region) for the construction of the terminal for handling grain cargoes on the land plot with the total area of 20 hectares.
“Nibulon” was established in 1991. Before Russian military invasion grain trader had 27 transshipment terminals and complexes to receive the crops, the capacities for one-time storage of 2,25 mln. tons of agroindustrial complex products, fleet of 83 vessels (including 23 tugs), and also owned Nikolaev shipyard.
“Nibulon” before the war worked 82 thousand hectares of land in 12 regions of Ukraine and exported agricultural products to more than 70 countries.
The grain trader exported maximum 5.64 million tons of agricultural products in 2021, reaching record volumes of deliveries to foreign markets in August – 0.7 million tons, the fourth quarter – 1.88 million tons and in the second half of the year – 3.71 million tons.
Grain Alliance Agro Holding in spring 2022 purchased a grain logistics hub near the border of Ukraine and Slovakia to deliver agricultural products by land bypassing Ukrainian ports, the throughput capacity of which was significantly reduced due to the full-scale Russian military invasion. The transshipment capacity of the grain terminal in Černá nad Tysou (Slovakia) will be up to 400,000 tons per year.
Before the war, Grain Alliance farmed 57,000 hectares in Kyiv, Poltava, Chernigov and Cherkassy regions, grew more than 300,000 tons of grains and oilseeds a year, and owned more than a thousand head of cattle.
Agroholding has six granaries in Ukraine with a total capacity of over 260 thousand tons.
The founders of Harvest Moon East LLC (Baryshevka village, Kyiv region) and BZK Grain Alliance (Sweden) established a joint company, Grain Alliance, in 2009.

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China invests nearly $2 bln in memory chip maker

China will invest 12.9 billion yuan ($1.9 billion) in the country’s largest memory chip maker Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC).
The funds will be provided to the company through The National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Ltd. investment fund, according to a government website.
It could mark a resumption of state capital flows into the industry, which is subject to U.S. sanctions, Bloomberg said.
Representatives of YMTC and the fund did not respond to the agency’s inquiries.
The Wuhan-based company is China’s largest maker of 3D NAND flash memory chips used in smartphones and other electronic devices. Last year, YMTC, along with more than 30 other Chinese companies, was blacklisted by U.S. authorities. U.S. technology companies cannot supply components to Chinese organizations on this list without obtaining a special export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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EBRD invests over EUR 1.5 bln in Ukraine, plans same amount next year

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to close 2022 with investments in Ukraine of over EUR 1.5 billion, Matteo Patrone, EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, said at the Ukrainian Investment Roadshow conference last week in London.
Next year the EBRD is going to do as much, if not more, depending on how the situation develops, he said.
Patrone said that the EBRD typically invests around EUR 10-11 billion a year in its countries of operations, so the amount allocated to Ukraine shows its role for the bank.
The Managing Director explained that the EBRD is able to provide such significant funds because it takes part of the risk on its balance sheet, while donors cover the rest.
Patrone said that while this year a significant portion of funding went to support liquidity, next year, according to his forecasts, the share of investment funding will increase – not only for recovery, but also for new projects.
He, in particular, recalled the allocated funds for the new direct investment fund Horizon Capital and announced the project of a Polish investor being considered by the bank, which is already present in Ukraine and who wants to invest another EUR 40 million in the country.
Speaking about work in the near future, Patrone called for more focus not on the 10-year outlook, but on what will happen in the next 12-18 months, how to win the war on the economic front during this period.
According to him, the second important point is the coordination of Ukraine’s international partners, building an effective and efficient coordination platform for channeling funds to support the country with the participation of Ukraine.
And the third question worth mentioning is that not to lose focus on the reform agenda, both in the short and medium term, he said. Therefore, reforms, in particular, reforms in corporate governance, the rule of law, which have been discussed for the past six to eight years and where Ukraine has made significant progress, should remain in the spotlight, the EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus said.
As reported, in 2021 the EBRD invested EUR 1 billion in Ukraine.


Kharkiv manufacturer “Kulinichi” invests EUR20 mln in construction of bakery in Lviv region

LLC “Kulinichi” (Kharkiv region), a major manufacturer of bread and bakery products, has begun construction of a bakery in the Lviv region with a capacity of up to 150 tons of bread per day, part of which will be sold for export, according to the Ukrainian diplomat’s Facebook page Mikhail Bno-Ayriyan.
At the same time, it is specified that investments in the enterprise will amount to EUR 20 million over two years, part of the equipment for the plant will be transported from the Kulinichi plant in the Kharkiv region.
In turn, the bread manufacturer on his official Facebook page confirmed that he had begun construction of an enterprise in the Lviv region, but stressed that this did not mean the closure of the plant in the Kharkiv region.
“Yes, we are really building a new plant near Lviv. We are not closing the plant in Kharkiv, we are not closing our retail outlets in Kharkiv (…) We will bake bread for you, no matter what,” the Kulinichi page says in social network.
LLC “Kulinichi”, operating in Ukraine since 1995, unites 8 bakeries of the Kharkiv region and plants of the Poltava, Donetsk and Kyiv regions.
Since 1999, LLC has been cooperating with the Slovenian enterprise Gostol-Gopan.

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Lviv IT-company SoftServe plans to invest over $100 million in the construction of a creative office campus on the site of Lviv penal colony No. 48 acquired for UAH 377.5 million at a privatization auction.
According to a SoftServe press release on the Business Wire portal, construction will begin in 2022 and it will take about five years. An international architectural bureau will be involved in the work on the project.
“The new campus will not only breathe new life into the whole district of Lviv, but will also continue the development of the city as a major educational and technological hub in Ukraine and in the world,” the co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of SoftServe, Oleh Denys, said.
According to the project, the campus will house SoftServe offices, as well as the company’s corporate university, conference rooms and exhibition grounds, a school and a kindergarten, and apartments.
As reported, SoftServe acquired Lviv penal colony No. 48 on a 10.7 hectare plot for UAH 377.5 million at a privatization auction held on June 3.
SoftServe specializes in software production, development services, quality control and support of information systems and business solutions. To date, about 10,000 employees of the company work in 38 offices. The main offices of the company are located in Lviv and Austin (Texas, the United States). The company’s development centers are located in Lviv, Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Rivne, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernyvtsi, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Wroclaw, Bialystok, Gliwice and Warsaw (Poland).

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