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TANZANIA BUYS U.S. TOUR BUSES WITH HELP OF EX-IM BANK FINANCING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 31, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Andrew Yarrow (202) 565-3200

A small Florida start-up company is selling U.S.-made tour buses to Tanzania with the assistance of a medium-term loan guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).

Magnanima Inc., an export-import business founded last year in Tampa, is exporting three buses manufactured by the Blue Bird Corp., Macon, GA, to East Africa Line Ltd. (EALL), a Tanzanian coach transport firm. The 45-person luxury buses principally will be used to transport tourists from Dar es Salaam to safari sites and other tourist destinations in the Serengeti wilderness area near the Tanzania-Kenya border. This is the first sale by Magnanima's East African marketing subsidiary.

There is absolutely no way that we could have completed this transaction without Ex-Im Bank's help, said Michael Heimbach, one of Magnanima's four co-owners. We are very encouraged by Ex-Im Bank's commitment in East Africa, and we hope to bring future projects in the region to Ex-Im Bank.

Ex-Im Bank is providing a $326,824 loan guarantee to support EALL's purchase, which will augment the company's existing fleet of 15 buses. The lender is Riggs Bank, Washington, D.C. Although this is Magnanima's first transaction with Ex-Im Bank, the Blue Bird Corp. was the supplier on a $26 million Ex-Im Bank-supported sale to Uzbekistan in 1999 and was insured under five multi-buyer Ex-Im Bank insurance policies during the last five years.

Ex-Im Bank is helping an American small business and a growing company in Tanzania, benefitting people in both countries, said James A. Harmon, Ex-Im Bank's chairman. Increasing U.S. business with Africa, to help improve living standards on that continent, is a top Ex-Im Bank priority.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. During fiscal year 2000, Ex-Im Bank supported $15.5 billion in U.S. exports, including $733.4 million to Africa.