Press Releases
print

IFC Loan to Expand Reach of Mobile Telephones in Turkey


In Washington, D.C.
Thoko Moyo
Phone: +1 (202) 458-8517
Email: tmoyo@ifc.org


Istanbul, April 19, 2007 — IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed a $420 million loan agreement with Avea, one of Turkey’s major mobile phone operators, to help the company refinance and expand its GSM network to reach thousands of additional subscribers throughout Turkey. The agreement is part of a $1.6 billion long-term financing package arranged by IFC and ABN Amro Bank N.V.

“Today’s agreement marks an important milestone for Avea,” said Cüneyt Türktan, Avea’s CEO,   “Our company will continue to invest in new technologies, and we look forward to a long-term relationship with IFC that is mutually beneficial.”

In addition to expanding the reach of coverage to include a larger proportion of Turkey’s population, the project is expected to stimulate competition in the sector and generate significant employment and support to local small and medium enterprises that are clients of Avea.

IFC’s Director for Global Information and Communication Technologies, Mohsen Khalil, praised the company for its track record as an innovative operator in the telecommunications and technology sectors. He said, “IFC has a long-standing relationship with Avea and its shareholders, and we have been working with Avea as an advisor and arranger for the past five years.  The agreement today demonstrates our continued confidence in the company as well as our overall support of the private sector's role in telecommunications.”

IFC has been active in Turkey for more than 40 years, with cumulative investments in the country amounting to over $2.7 billion.

IFC’s Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, Shahbaz Mavaddat, said, “IFC’s investment in Avea will represent one of the largest investments for a major infrastructure project in Turkey.  It is expected to have a significant demonstration effect by signaling confidence in recent economic reforms and promoting additional investments in other areas of the economy.”

IFC has a well-diversified portfolio across a range of industrial and financial sectors. Over the past 10 years, IFC has invested over $2.3 billion in telecommunications, media, and technology projects worldwide.

About IFC

IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.  IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.

About AVEA

Established in 2000, Avea is owned by Turk Telekom and the Is Bankasi Group.  Avea is the youngest and most innovative GSM operator in Turkey with 8 million subscribers. The company is growing fast in both the corporate and individual services with the brand Avea, and it is investing constantly in technology and infrastructure as well as in its management and employees. Avea has over 1,800 employees and roaming agreements with 369 operators in 165 countries. It prioritizes customer needs and renders innovative and high-quality services with the latest technology. For more information, please visit www.avea.com.tr.