Washington, D.C., September 27, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is investing up to $10 million in the
CoreCo Central America Fund I, a private equity fund dedicated to investing
in small and medium enterprises in Central America, to create jobs and
expand access to finance across the region.
The investment will encourage economic
growth by providing much-needed capital and management advice, particularly
in underserved sectors such as healthcare, information technology, retail,
financial and business services—sectors that show potential for high growth.
IFC will also work to implement best-practice corporate governance and
environmental and social standards in the companies that CoreCo invests
in, helping to raise standards across the region.
"The IFC investment is a catalyst
which allows CoreCo to provide sorely needed ‘smart capital’ to SMEs
in the region,” said Alex von der Goltz, CoreCo’s Managing Partner and
co-founder. “Central America has significant growth opportunities for
SMEs to become regional players in their respective sectors. The missing
ingredient is experienced growth equity professionals and smart capital,
which the IFC and CoreCo bring to the table."
Bernardo Rico, who heads IFC's operations
in Guatemala and El Salvador, said: "IFC's investment will provide
fast-growing SMEs access to scarce equity capital in Central America. This
is critical because SMEs— especially those that are expanding their operations
regionally—are the major drivers for employment growth.”
IFC opened its Central American country
offices in 2007. Since then it has invested more than $2.6 billion in the
region and mobilized an additional $823 million from other investors. IFC
backs private-equity funds in the emerging markets because they provide
both equity capital and expertise, which can help businesses grow and create
jobs. IFC’s private-equity portfolio now totals about $3 billion, committed
to about 180 funds. The portfolio is distributed across all regions of
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing
capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services
to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time
high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing
development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.