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IFC Provides $40 Million Loan to Scancom Limited —Investment in Ghana’s Mobile Telecom Sector—


Washington, IFC
Ludwina Joseph

Phone: 202 473-7700

Email:
Ljoseph@ifc.org

Investcom Holding:


Jean-François Beaudouin

Phone : +33 1-5688-3888


Niam Kawas, Hilal Malawi

Phone : +961 1-790-111

 
Neil Doyle, Claire Maloney

Phone : +44 (0)20 7307 5330


Washington, D.C., and Beirut, Lebanon, June 1, 2005—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today announced the signing of a $40 million loan to Scancom Limited, Ghana, a majority owned subsidiary of Investcom Holding, the international telecommunications group.  

Scancom, providing services under its brand name Spacefon Areeba, is the leading mobile telecommunications operator in Ghana. IFC’s loan will help fund Scancom’s network upgrade and expansion. In addition to strengthening Scancom’s capital structure, the financing will be used to promote economic development in the country by providing more affordable telecom services to a larger portion of the population. IFC’s investment will also complement the work of the World Bank, which is assisting the government of Ghana to implement pro-investment sector reform and a world-class regulatory environment.


“Through this project, IFC is assisting a key player in the emerging telecommunications sector in Africa,” noted Mr. Mohsen Khalil, director of IFC’s Global Information and Communication Technologies Department.  He added that, “By enabling Scancom to accelerate its network expansion, the project will contribute to market competitiveness and support the government of Ghana’s efforts to improve performance in the sector.”


According to Mr. Azmi Mikati, chief executive of Investcom Holdings, “Investcom is delighted to have signed this loan facility agreement with IFC. These funds will be used to improve and expand Scancom's mobile telecommunications infrastructure and services across the country, allowing us to offer better quality, affordable, and reliable mobile services to a larger section of the people of Ghana.”

 
“In line with our strategy in Africa, this project represents a further opportunity to contribute to the telecom sector’s growth and private sector development in the region,” noted Mr. Richard Ranken, director of IFC’s Sub-Saharan Africa department.  He added that IFC’s involvement with Scancom should “spur interest for other foreign direct investment in Ghana.”

 
The mission of IFC
(www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  


Investcom Holding (Luxembourg) S.A. (
www.investcomholding.com) is an international telecommunications company with operations in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. As of February 2005, Investcom provided services to over 2.6 million mobile subscribers. The company operates GSM networks mostly under the Areeba(tm) brand in Benin, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, with a combined population under license of more than 110 million. The company also provides carrier voice and data services through its operations in Monaco and the UK.

Scancom has been providing GSM services since 1996. At year end 2004, Scancom Ghana had approximately 957,000 subscribers. Mobile penetration in Ghana has significantly increased over the past 3 years, growing from 2% in 2002 to over 7% and rising by the end of 2004.  

Ghana:
Capital: Accra

Population (end 2004)1: 21 million
Mobile penetration (end 2004)2: 7%


Scancom Limited
:

Investcom Holding ownership: 96.67%

Investcom brand: Co-branded AreebaTM /Spacefon; AreebaTM in June 2005

Market share (end 2004)3: 64%