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IFC to Make Its Second Investment in The Mexican IT Sector in Twelve Months


Washington, D.C.
Adriana Gomez

Phone: (202) 458 5204

Email:
Agomez@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., July 2, 2003 — The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is to invest US$10.0 million in the Mexmal Group, a Mexico-based IT Systems distributor of information technology, components and systems and the leading local computer manufacturer in Mexico.

In addition to distributing the products of major global manufacturers, Mexmal  distributes its own brand of products, “Alaska”, which offers similar quality and service as international brands, but at more affordable prices. Mexmal also provides technical assistance and training to its extensive network of authorized integrators and resellers.  


IFC's investment will help Mexmal to increase its geographic coverage and expand its services and solutions offerings particularly targeting Mexico's consumer and Small and Medium Entreprise market.  IFC had closed an investment  of US$ 6.0 million  in June 2002 with Qualita, the leading Mexican IT services firm which serves the corporate market.  Both investments indicate IFC’s interest in supporting companies that transfer best of breed international IT solutions and know how to adapt these solutions to the local market.  


Mohsen Khalil, the World Bank Group's Director for Global Information and Communication Technologies (GICT), said: "This investment in Mexmal demonstrates IFC’s continued  support to the IT sector in Mexico and will help bring world class solutions to individuals, SMEs and government agencies in Mexico.  We consider this investment to be very complimentary to our earlier investment in Qualita in terms of the type of offering and the target customers.”


"In today's global context, further development in Mexico and Latin America of high value-added sectors, such as IT, are critical for the medium- and long-term growth in the Region", said Bernard Pasquier,  IFC’s Director for Latin America and The Caribbean Region.  ""This investment is clearly along this line."


Mexmal was started in 1992 by two entrepreneurs, Patrick Wong and Alfredo Flores, who have grown the group to become the leading independent information technology systems distributor and solution provider in Mexico employing about 350 people.  

 
Patrick Wong, co-founder and CEO of Mexmal, noted: "the Mexmal Group is very excited about the new financing provided by IFC.  This investment fits perfectly into our long-term strategy for growth and expansion in Mexico, one of the most important emerging markets in Latin America.  We appreciate IFC's commitment to Mexico's private IT sector and we are confident that our partnership with IFC will result in more successful projects in the near future."


Mexmal is headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico and Laredo, Texas, its operations are widespread across the Mexican countryside, where it serves a large number of smaller cities and towns through a network of eight branches.  In March 2003, Mexmal has opened its ninth branch in the main urban market of Mexico City.  


IFC's mission (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in emerging market economies.  IFC finances private sector investments in the emerging markets, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY02, IFC committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's committed portfolio as of FY02 was $15.1 billion for its own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.
 
The World Bank Group's Global Information and Communication Technologies Department (www.worldbank.org/ict) promotes the transfer of communications and information technologies to the developing world. The Information Technologies Investments Division, part of GICT, is a stage-independent investor with an exclusive focus on building successful information technology businesses in the emerging markets. Formed in mid-2000, the group brings a global perspective to information technology, a long-term approach to investments, an ability to leverage the resources of the entire World Bank Group as well as a commitment to maximize the value of its portfolio companies through sustained strategic assistance.

Mexmal, Mexico
G. Fernandez
E-mail: gfernandez@mexmal.com