OPIC Wins "Deal of the Year" Award for Partnership with Brazil's Itaú Unibanco and Wells Fargo
March 10, 2015
Landmark 2014 transaction recognized for value in development impact, job creation and lasting economic growth
WASHINGTON – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution, won a “Trade Finance Americas Deal of the Year” award from prominent international magazine Trade Finance. The award recognized a pioneering transaction in which OPIC supported a co-lending facility with Brazilian financial institution Itaú Unibanco.
U.S. financial institution Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., acted as sponsor, co-lender and paying agent, and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, as placement and remarketing agent, for the initiative.
The award-winning deal brought OPIC support to expand Itaú’s small to medium sized enterprise (SME) loan portfolio, particularly in the north and northeast regions of Brazil where there is currently limited access to debt financing.
The OPIC transaction with Itaú Unibanco was initially approved in 2013 and reached financial close in July 2014, with a $400 million OPIC loan alongside $80 million from Wells Fargo. This represents OPIC’s largest disbursement in Latin America to date.
Because of the lasting economic impact and job growth that traditionally follows increased SME lending, the partnership with the Brazilian bank Itaú ranked highest among all of OPIC’s 2013 commitments as scored by the Agency’s innovative methodology for assessing development impact.
Trade Finance is a global publication that focuses on international trade finance, covering trends and developments in both emerging and developed markets. Its annual “Deals of the Year” awards recognize landmark achievements in global finance, assessed by innovation, complexity, size, country risk and contribution to local economy.
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $76 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 278,000 American jobs. For more information, please visit www.opic.gov.
About Itaú Unibanco
Itaú Unibanco is the largest privately owned bank in Latin America. Its vision is "to be the leading bank in sustainable performance and customer satisfaction". To realize this, it established a set of 10 corporate culture attitudes to guide its teams. Itaú Unibanco’s main operations are: commercial banking (insurance, pension plan and capitalization products, credit cards, asset management, credit products and services for individuals and small companies); wholesale banking (Itaú BBA - corporate and investment banking - and middle-market companies); and consumer credit (financial products and services to non-account holders). Its operations are mainly in Brazil, but its international presence enables it to provide high-quality service to local clients and Brazilians abroad. It is present in 19 countries outside of Brazil. Itaú Unibanco is listed on the BM&FBovespa, Buenos Aires and New York stock exchanges (ITUB). For more information, please visit our website: www.itau.com.br or www.itau.com.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy.