IFC Restructures Investment in Mariwasa to Support the Philippines’ Ceramic Tile Industry
IFC has agreed to restructure its investment in Mariwasa Manufacturing, the largest ceramic tile maker in the Philippines, as part of its commitment to help the local tile industry.
IFC led a group of lenders in negotiations with company owners to agree on a debt-restructuring deal that includes a new shareholder and management structure as well as focused marketing strategies.
Following the signing of the agreement, Surasak Kraiwitchaicharoen, President of Mariwasa Siam Ceramics, thanked IFC for its leadership in the negotiations with various creditors. He pledged to focus more energy on improving the company’s profitability and financial stability by growing the business in the domestic market, as well as overseas. With its revised strategy, the company also plans to tap other markets, including Guam, Indonesia, Japan, Saipan, Singapore, South Africa, and Thailand.
IFC invested $14.5 million in Mariwasa in 1999. The company defaulted in 2003 amid increased competition, slowing demand, spiraling electricity costs, and loss of market share to imported ceramic tiles.
“The Philippine tile industry is still domestically oriented. With cheaper imports and better availability of alternatives to ceramic tiles, there is a need for more strategic choices in terms of management and markets,” said IFC Acting Country Manager Jesse Ang. “With IFC’s renewed support, we hope to enhance Mariwasa’s efficiency and its ability to find niche markets. This will also contribute to the sector’s competitiveness.”
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