International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is considering a proposal to provide a local currency loan of RMB 1 billion ($148 million equivalent) to Shanghai-listed Jointown Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd, according to a disclosure.
The loan will support Jointown’s business expansion, including the construction of up to five new product distribution centres and an upgrade at four existing warehouses in middle and western China.
The total project cost is estimated to be about $316 million.
“The project will increase access to a wider choice of more affordable essential drugs patients in rural and frontier regions in middle and western China,” IFC said in its disclosure.
Founded in 1999, Wuhan-headquartered Jointown procures pharmaceutical products and small medical devices and sells to hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies throughout China.
Brothers Baolin Liu, Shulin Liu, and Zhaonian Liu collectively own 53.6 per cent of the company. Other shareholders include institutional shareholders (11.4 per cent) and the general public (35.0 per cent).
The proposed loan has a tenor of eight years and the loan repayment constitutes a 3-year grace to match the gradual operational ramp up.
The project is expected to create about 5000 new direct jobs at the new facilities and increase procurement from SME suppliers, IFC said.