First Polish company offered coronavirus aid by European lender EBRD

"As Poland copes with the coronavirus crisis and its longer-term impact, it is vitally important to act now to prevent future harm," Grzegorz Zielinski, EBRD Regional Director, Central Europe and the Baltic states, was quoted as saying in the bank's news release. Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Poland's pharmaceutical group Pelion will be the country's first company receiving aid from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's (EBRD) coronavirus response funds, the bank announced on Friday.

Pelion has been offered a PLN 110-mln (EUR 25-mln) loan from the bank's Solidarity Package.

The loan is aimed at providing short-term liquidity to Pelion under high volatility of the market during the coronavirus pandemic, the EBRD said.

Pelion, owned by the holding company Korporacja Inwestycyjna Polskiej Farmacji, is the largest wholesale and retail pharmaceutical distributor in Poland and Lithuania and is, as such, of critical importance to securing the availability of pharmaceuticals, EBRD wrote on its website.

"Pelion plans to use the EBRD financing to build a liquidity buffer, actively respond to changing payment terms and increase inventory levels ahead of any possible second wave of Covid-19 in the autumn," the bank wrote.

"As Poland copes with the coronavirus crisis and its longer-term impact, it is vitally important to act now to prevent future harm," Grzegorz Zieliński, EBRD Regional Director, Central Europe and the Baltic states, was quoted as saying in the bank's news release.

"The new facility, which allows us to build a liquidity buffer, will help us stay focused on taking care of our patients and customers," Jacek Szwajcowski, co-founder and CEO of Pelion, was cited as saying by the EBRD.

The EBRD started investing in Poland in 1991 and, according to the bank, has so far provided EUR 10.3 billion through 436 projects to all sectors of the Polish economy.