Ara Tiendas I (IFC-40643)

  • Colombia
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
Financial Institutions
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
International, regional and national development finance institutions. Many of these banks have a public interest mission, such as poverty reduction.
Project Status
Stage of the project cycle. Stages vary by development bank and can include: pending, approval, implementation, and closed or completed.
Bank Risk Rating
Environmental and social categorization assessed by the development bank as a measure of the planned project’s environmental and social impacts. A higher risk rating may require more due diligence to limit or avoid harm to people and the environment. For example, "A" or "B" are risk categories where "A" represents the highest amount of risk. Results will include projects that specifically recorded a rating, all other projects are marked ‘U’ for "Undisclosed."
A public entity (government or state-owned) provided with funds or financial support to manage and/or implement a project.
  • Infrastructure
The service or industry focus of the investment. A project can have several sectors.
Investment Type(s)
The categories of the bank investment: loan, grant, guarantee, technical assistance, advisory services, equity and fund.
Investment Amount (USD)
$ 93.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Project Cost (USD)
$ 93.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ IFC website

Updated in EWS Nov 23, 2018

Disclosed by Bank Nov 9, 2018

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Project Description
If provided by the financial institution, the Early Warning System Team writes a short summary describing the purported development objective of the project and project components. Review the complete project documentation for a detailed description.

According to the bank, the proposed investment consists of a corporate loan of up to US$93 million equivalent in Colombian Pesos to Jeronimo Martins Colombia SAS (“Ara Tiendas” or “Ara”, or the “company”). The company is the Colombian subsidiary of Jeronimo Martins SGPS SA (“JM”, the “Group” or the “Sponsor”), a Portuguese food retailer. The proposed loan will partly finance the expected capital expenditure of the company over the next 2 years, for expansion of its logistic and stores’ infrastructure, and the respective operations across Colombia (the “Project”). JM is the leading food distributor in its home country, Portugal, and successfully entered Poland in 1995, becoming the leading retailer in just over a decade. Ara opened its first store in Colombia in 2013. As of December 2017, Ara operated 389 stores, with an average size of 340 sqm, across three regions of the country: The Coffee Growing Region in the South Zone (Eje Cafetero), the Caribbean Coast in the North Zone, and, since September 2016, Greater Bogota Region in the Center Zone. A significant portion of Ara’s sales come from its own private label products, and they aim to continue to increase that share. The new stores that will be added will have a similar format to that of the existing ones and each store will generate around 7-9 direct jobs. The project will also generate temporary employment during the construction period of its stores and distribution centers, and indirect employment through the supply chain. About 50% of the stores’ employees are expected to be women. All the referred 389 stores are leased. Out of the three main distribution centers, one is on company’s own property (in Barranquilla, in the Caribbean coast region, in South zone), and the other two in Pereira, in the Coffee Growing region, in North Zone) and in Bogotá (center zone) are rented, as well as smaller rented satellite centers. Ara will have closer sourcing to its stores by opening several new DCs in the 3 regions where it has presence already and additionally in other regions where the company also plans to open new stores.

Investment Description
Here you can find a list of individual development financial institutions that finance the project.
Private Actor 1 Private Actor 1 Role Private Actor 1 Sector Relation Private Actor 2 Private Actor 2 Role Private Actor 2 Sector
- - - - Jeronimo Martins Colombia, S.A.S. Client -

Contact Information
This section aims to support the local communities and local CSO to get to know which stakeholders are involved in a project with their roles and responsibilities. If available, there may be a complaint office for the respective bank which operates independently to receive and determine violations in policy and practice. Independent Accountability Mechanisms receive and respond to complaints. Most Independent Accountability Mechanisms offer two functions for addressing complaints: dispute resolution and compliance review.


The Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) is the independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by an IFC or MIGA- financed project. If you submit a complaint to the CAO, they may assist you in resolving a dispute with the company and/or investigate to assess whether the IFC is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. If you want to submit a complaint electronically, you can email the CAO at You can learn more about the CAO and how to file a complaint at

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