Update regarding IFC’s Asset Management Company

December 5, 2023

The IFC Asset Management Company has reached an agreement with a group of anonymous plaintiffs from the Bajo Aguán region of Honduras, represented by EarthRights International, to settle a class action lawsuit. The settlement is pending court approval.

IFC invested in Corporacion Dinant to expand employment opportunities for some of the estimated 5,000 families that benefit from the palm oil industry along the Atlantic coast of Honduras. The area belongs to one of the most impoverished parts of the country and suffers from a chronic lack of economic opportunities. IFC disbursed a loan of $15 million to Dinant in November 2009 and is no longer invested in Dinant. A trade finance guarantee IFC extended to Ficohsa, a Honduran bank that has provided finance to Dinant, remains in effect. IFC Asset Management Company had managed an equity and subordinated debt investment in Ficosha, both of which have been fully divested.

With the settlement, the plaintiffs and their communities will benefit through improvements in many service delivery sectors, such as healthcare, nutrition, education, housing, care for the elderly, and environmental protection. The settlement agreement also recognizes the personal participation of individual plaintiffs and their role in facilitating this outcome.

We are deeply saddened by the conflict that took place in the Aguán Valley in 2014 and the violence that affected campesino associations, security guards, police, military, staff of Dinant, journalists, and civilians. The settlement, a large part of which will go towards benefiting the communities in the Bajo Aguán in Honduras, is a good way to resolve the outstanding legal matter to the satisfaction of all parties.

As part of the settlement agreement, IFC and plaintiffs have negotiated a joint public statement regarding resolution of the case.