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Serendib Flour Mills raises Rs. 3.6 b to enhance business

Comments / 974 Views / Thursday, 10 May 2012 00:25

Serendib Flour Mills (Private) Limited (SFML), manufacturers of the high quality ‘7 Star’ brand wheat flour, recently raised Rs. 1.70 billion and US$ 14.50 million (a total amount equivalent to approximately US$ 27 million) to finance its permanent working capital requirements of the company, through a long term syndicated loan facility.

NDB Investment Bank Limited (NDBIB) acted as the Arranger to this facility while a consortium of six banks comprising of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, Hatton National Bank PLC, Indian Bank, National Development Bank PLC, People’s Bank and Sampath Bank PLC participated in the syndication with Commercial Bank acting as the agency bank for the facility.

“Most of the banks which participated in the syndicated loan facility are doing so for the second time, and this is a strong vote of confidence,” said NDB Investment Banking Cluster CEO Vajira Kulatilaka. The initial loan facility, also arranged by NDBIB, was to finance the construction of the flour mill (built on the Prince Vijaya Quay of the Colombo Port) raising Rs. 3.6 billion in 2004.

SFML Chairman Mahendra Amarasuriya stated: “Overcoming initial teething problems, thanks to the backing of our parent company, Al-Ghurair Group, SFML has grown exceptionally over the last three years to become a highly successful and profitable entity.”

SFML celebrated its third anniversary of operations in Sri Lanka last year with the launch of the retail product range under the ‘7 Star’ brand. Recently SFML was also awarded ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety System Certification for total compliance with the required international norms and conventions.

Having commenced commercial operations in 2008 with a state‐of‐the‐art wheat flour mill in the Colombo Port, SFML now serves both Sri Lankan consumers as well as exports to many countries across the Far East and Africa.  Today the product portfolio of the company includes baker’s flour, household flour, rotti flour, noodle flour, whole meal flour, atta flour and semolina sold under the ‘7 Star’ brand.

The Al-Ghurair Group of Companies, the parent Company of SFML has been in the flour milling business in the UAE for the past 35 years, and continues their operations in the Middle East and Africa. The Group shares its expertise in flour milling, ocean transport, commodity trading, logistics and marketing with SFML.

“Today the challenge for Sri Lankan banks is to promote foreign investments in the country. In this context, NDB Group functions as a one stop shop for all businesses and investments. We take pleasure in building the confidence of the Al-Ghurair Group, and encouraging them to further expand and scale up operations in Sri Lanka. This is our challenging role in the task of nation building,” said NDB Group Chief Executive Officer Russell de Mel. NDB Investment Bank has once again successfully executed a landmark transaction in the country’s capital market. The premier investment bank in Sri Lanka continues to spearhead the investment banking arena, raising over Rs. 38 billion in funds last year and kicking off 2012 by managing the only two IPOs to debut on the CSE to date this year.

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