The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) are promoting the expansion of the sustainable car market in Ukraine with a loan-and-guarantee package to Winner, one of the country’s leading vehicle importers and retailers.
The EBRD is providing a €20 million loan to complement the company’s €23 million investment in a sustainable expansion programme. This will include the construction of new car dealerships for the Renault and Volvo brands, as well as an expansion of the company’s logistics capacity and distribution and service infrastructure, including for electric vehicles.
The EU is providing a first-loss guarantee through the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) for the municipal, infrastructure and industrial sectors, delivered under Team Europe, a joint approach by the European Union and its partners in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new car dealerships will be designed and built according to BREEAM or EDGE green building standards, boosting the company’s energy performance. Green buildings are still rare in Ukraine and, to date, there is only one BREEAM-certified building in the entire retail sector. Winner will be the first auto dealership in Ukraine to achieve green-standard certification. The investment will also help Winner to construct a “green” collision repair centre, the first of its kind, in Kyiv.
Winner is promoting cleaner technologies and socially responsible corporate policy in the Ukrainian car retail sector. Since 1992, it has invested more than €100 million in the country and is committed to significant new investments. It was the first auto importer and seller of electric vehicles in Ukraine and is currently the national market leader in the sector. It has undertaken an energy audit, supported by the TaiwanBusiness – EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund, and due diligence, funded by the EU.
Matteo Patrone, EBRD Managing Director, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, said: ”We are delighted to join forces with the EU to promote a foreign direct investment-driven and environmentally conscious business in Ukraine. I am particularly glad to see the company expanding into electric vehicles. This will eventually lead to cleaner streets, making cities a better place for pedestrians and cyclists too.”
Katarína Mathernová, Deputy Director-General for EU Neighbourhood and Enlargement and Head of the Support Group for Ukraine (SGUA), commented: “The European Union is happy to guarantee this EBRD private-sector operation, which enables an innovative Ukrainian company to make investments that will allow its business to grow in a green and sustainable way. This follows the virtuous path undertaken by Ukraine with the Green Agenda, which the EU commends and supports.”
The investment is part of EBRD and EU efforts to build more competitive businesses and preserve the environment in the EU neighbourhood. The EBRD and other private-sector lenders are providing more than €500 million in loans for this purpose, while the EU is supporting these investments with a guarantee of €100 million.