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
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.