International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is extending a $40 million loan to the Mumbai-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Glenmark, according to an announcement.
The loan, which will be issued under IFC’s $8 billion, fast-track COVID-19 facility, seeks to help the Indian company boost its generic drug production capacity.
The investment is part of IFC’s efforts to increase the availability of affordable, quality medicines, including treatments for COVID-19, in India and other countries. “The latest investment is part of IFC’s ongoing work to help countries build back better from the coronavirus pandemic, including the Global Health Platform that supports improved access to critical healthcare supplies, services, and medicines in developing countries,” IFC said.
Glenmark produces generic drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients — the chemical building blocks that are used in the manufacture of drugs that have applications in oncology, cardiology, and dermatology, as well as for the treatment of respiratory illnesses.
The loan is not IFC’s first engagement with Glenmark. In June 2016, IFC invested $75 million in Glenmark’s Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCB) to finance the company’s expansion and help grow its R&D capacity.
IFC is providing $8 billion in fast-track financial support to existing clients to help sustain economies and preserve jobs during the global crisis, which it said is hitting the poorest and most vulnerable countries the hardest.
The COVID-19 facility has so far invested in 70 companies and projects worldwide, the bulk of which are in Asia and Africa.
Recently, IFC approved a $4 million loan under the Real Sector Crisis Response Envelope of its own Fast Track COVID-19 Facility for Bel Ga Myanmar, alongside at least $3 million capital injection from the company’s joint venture partners.
The financing aims to facilitate Bel Ga Myanmar’s expansion plans and operations through the COVID-19 market downturn.
In an interview with DealStreetAsia in January, Chew Huai Fong, IFC’s regional lead for East and the Pacific, said IFC is looking to undertake more direct investments, as well as co-invest with private equity fund managers, into emerging markets.