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IFC Finances A Healthcare Information Technology Company in Latin America


Brazil:
Sebastian Popik

Phone:  (5511) 3053-8053

E-mail:  
Sebastian_popik@salutia.com

Washington D.C:

Adriana Gomez
Phone:(202)458-5204
Fax:  (202) 974-4384

E-mail:  
agomez@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., January 31, 2002—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has invested US$2.5 million in Salutia, a privately-held Latin American healthcare electronic connectivity company, that strives to improve efficiency of healthcare systems by connecting healthcare payers and providers in the region.

IFC’s investment will help Salutia implement the multi-channel electronic transaction platforms in Brazil, Health24© and Salutia Faturamento©, that will substitute the current paper-based communication systems.  The new platforms will efficiently and securely process transactions and exchange information among various private healthcare industry players, primarily payers and providers of services.


Healthcare electronic connectivity companies hold tremendous promise globally and in Latin America in particular.  Manual paper-based healthcare transactions in Latin America account for nearly all of the total transactions and are expensive and highly inefficient, resulting in redundant tests and procedures, as well as in excessive administrative costs.  This situation generates a unique opportunity for savings and better quality of care through the migration to an electronic connectivity platform.



This is the first time IFC is financing a healthcare information technology project.  Salutia, headquartered in Sao Paulo, operates primarily in Brazil, and has expansion plans to serve other Latin American markets in the future.



Guy Ellena, IFC’s Director of the Health and Education Department, said that “the potential of Salutia is not only to reduce administrative and other inefficiencies but also to improve coordination and continuity of services by giving healthcare professionals more complete, accurate information at the point of care.”  Mr. Ellena added that “IFC’s investment in Salutia is expected to have an important catalytic role by offering comfort to other investors in this sector.”  



Sebastian Popik, Salutia Chief Executive Officer said: “Salutia will consolidate its leading position by increasing its provider network and offering new value-added services to payers in the region.  This investment secures our path to achieving critical mass in healthcare transactions in Latin America.”



In addition to IFC, among Salutia’s largest shareholders are Merrill Lynch Global Emerging Markets Partners L.P., Newbridge, UBS Capital and SLI Ventures.


IFC’s mission 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, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  Since its founding in 1956 through the close of the last fiscal year on June 30, 2001, IFC committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged $20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries.  IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.