Washington, D.C., March 17, 2005—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, has recently mobilized an $80 million long-term debt facility,
consisting of senior loans from the Development Bank of Southern Africa,
Finnfund, Proparco, and Swedfund as well as its own commitment of $40 million.
The $80 million debt facility is part of a $270 million medium- and long-term
debt package raised with 13 commercial banks to fund the company’s expansion
and acquisition activities and refinance existing loan facilities.
Celtel is a long-standing client of IFC and has, with IFC’s assistance,
grown from a start-up company with one cellular license in Uganda to one
of the leading mobile operators in Africa with more than 5 million subscribers
and operations in 13 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Celtel was also the recipient of the first annual IFC Client Leadership
Award in October 2004, which recognizes a highly successful corporate client
that, in line with IFC’s mission, has made a significant contribution
to sustainable development.
“This is an important investment with an existing client that contributes
substantially to improving telecommunications services in Sub-Saharan Africa,
where markets are still characterized by low penetration rates, promising
great growth opportunities,” said Mr. Mohsen Khalil, director of IFC’s
Global Information and Communication Technologies Department. He
added, “Celtel has been one of the main driving forces behind the phenomenal
development of telecommunications services in Africa over the past few
years, taking full advantage of cellular technology.”
According to Mr. Richard Ranken, director of IFC’s Sub-Saharan Africa
Department, “This investment has significant development impact in Sub-Saharan
Africa as it will support much- needed information infrastructure and demonstrates
that private businesses from this region can grow and prosper.”
Marten Pieters, Celtel’s chief executive officer, said, “We are pleased
to continue our partnership with IFC. This loan provides us with the additional
capability to grow our current business and acquire more value-generating
assets across Africa.”
IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. Its mission is to
promote sustainable private sector investment in emerging economies, helping
to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector
investments in emerging economies, 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.