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Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Linda Formella (202) 565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is helping U.S. hospital equipment manufacturers to break into the southern Brazilian market by providing a long-term guarantee to assist in financing the nearly $35 million sale of U.S. equipment and related services by Magna Medical Systems Inc. in Miami, Fla., to Comunidade Evangélica Luterana São Paulo (CELSP), a private, non-profit organization in Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. CELSP will use the equipment in a new 600-bed, teaching hospital currently under construction in Canoas. Magna Medical Systems, an integrator and exporter of hospital equipment and technology, will export equipment from 93 U.S. sub-suppliers in Florida, New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Indiana, Colorado, Ohio, Georgia, Kansas, Oregon, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Michigan.

Ex-Im Bank is helping Magna Medical Systems to gain a foothold in a competitive new market and sell U.S. capital equipment to a Brazilian buyer that otherwise would not have access to affordable financing to purchase U.S. exports on long terms of payment. This transaction demonstrates the critical difference that Ex-Im Bank can make for both U.S. companies and their foreign buyers in developing markets, Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon said.

If it weren't for Ex-Im Bank, this transaction would not have gone through, said Julian Arrieta, director of the Special Projects Division at Magna Medical Systems Inc. Ex-Im Bank's involvement allowed us to offer one financing at one rate for all the equipment. The price is basically the cash price, which makes it very economical for the buyer. Arrieta also commended the cooperation of the guaranteed lender, Northern Trust Company in Chicago, Ill., and General Electric Medical Systems in Waukesha, Wis., in developing the transaction.

According to Arrieta, the hospital equipment market in southern Brazil traditionally has been dominated by German suppliers, but this transaction allowed Magna Medical Systems to introduce U.S. equipment into a teaching hospital where students will be trained and likely will develop loyalties to the equipment. In 10 or 15 years, this sale will turn out to have been a very good marketing tool for U.S. technology, he added.

Ex-Im Bank is guaranteeing the $33.9 million long-term loan by The Northern Trust Company to CELSP, which currently operates a university, Universidade Luterana do Brasil, and four hospitals. Magna Medical Systems is providing a full-service contract to CELSP that includes equipment sourcing, installation, maintenance and personnel training.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps sustain U.S. jobs by providing loans, loan guarantees and export credit insurance to help finance sales of U.S. goods and services around the world, particularly to developing markets. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank supported more than $513 million of U.S. exports to Brazil and nearly $17 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.