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IFC Invests $10 million to Grow and Improve Small Businesses Across Central America


In Washington:
John McNally, IFC

Phone: +1 202 458 0723

E-mail:
jmcnally@ifc.org


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 the world.

About IFC
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.

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