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Ex-Im Bank Facility Supports Nigerian Pharmaceutical Production to Combat Sickle Cell Anemia

U.S. Companies Add Jobs To Fill Export Order

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 30, 2006

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Companies in Florida, Georgia and Illinois are exporting equipment and services to a Nigerian pharmaceutical firm to help it in the fight against sickle cell anemia.

The exports by American Plastics Technologies, Inc., Schiller Park, Ill.; FinancialBridge, Inc., Miami, Fla.; Nitra Group, Aventura, Fla.; and Fisher Scientific Co. LLC, Suwanee, Ga., are being made possible by a $9.3 million loan guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). American Plastics Technologies and FinancialBridge both are small businesses.

Xechem Pharmaceuticals Nigeria Limited, Abuja, Nigeria will use the funds to build laboratories and a manufacturing plant in to develop a variety of herbal-based drugs to combat sickle cell anemia.

Ex-Im Bank approved the medium-term loan guarantee under its new $300 million financing facility, allocated among 14 Nigerian banks, to support U.S. exports to Nigeria. The consolidated facility is designed to expedite the processing of short- and medium-term Ex-Im Bank financing for the purchase of goods and services by Nigerian buyers. This is the third transaction to be supported by the facility.

UPS Capital Business Credit of Hartford, Conn. is the guaranteed lender on the transaction. Two Nigerian banks included in the facility, Diamond Bank Ltd., and Access Bank Nigeria Plc., both of Lagos, are supporting the transaction by providing co-guarantees.

This transaction will support the development of Nigeria's pharmaceutical infrastructure and at the same time create and sustain U.S. jobs at small and large businesses alike, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright. We look forward to the continued use of this financing facility to make possible exports to Nigeria that otherwise would not go forward, to foster growth in Nigeria's banking sector and a wide range of Nigerian industries.

In the past, European businesses have aggressively used government assisted financing to successfully compete against us, even though their prices are 40-50 percent higher than ours, said American Plastics CEO Dr. Rao K. Murukurthy. Now with the help of Ex-Im Bank, we are reversing this trend and selling internationally. This project to build a pharmaceutical factory in helps us to employ about 25 technicians and engineers for about eight months. It also helps several of our U.S. vendors to employ about 25 workers for six to eight months.

Helping U.S. companies win global business is important to UPS Capital and in this transaction, four U.S. companies, including two U.S. small businesses, will be supported by the Export-Import Bank of the United States, said Jim Fortsch, head of ECA Finance at UPS Capital. Since the funds provided by UPS Capital will be used to purchase plant equipment and machinery for a state- of-the art pharmaceutical facility, this project is especially rewarding.

Xechem, a wholly owned international subsidiary of Xechem International, Inc., New Brunswick, N.J., is building the pharmaceutical facilities under an agreement with Nigeria's National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development and Nigeria's Ministry of Health.

U.S. exporters interested in learning more about Ex-Im Bank's Nigerian bank financing facility and how it can be used to support sales of U.S.Nigeria may contact the nearest Ex-Im Bank regional office by calling 1-800-565-3946 and selecting option 2. Visit Ex-Im Bank's web site at www.exim.gov.

Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 72nd year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world. The Bank works with commercial lenders to help U.S. companies increase export sales and American jobs and minimize risk by accessing Ex-Im Bank financing and export credit insurance.