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IFC MAKES FIRST INTERNET-RELATED INVESTMENT IN LATIN AMERICA


Jannette Esguerra
Phone: (202) 458-5204
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: jesguerra@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., December 22, 1999 — The International Finance Corporation is making an equity investment of US$5 million in Convergence Communications Inc. (CCI), a facilities-based operator of broadband communications networks in Latin America.
CCI provides broadband, high-speed data connections, Internet access, video and voice over IP services, through networks based on packet-switched technology and Internet Protocol. The investment will enable CCI to meet the large market demand for data traffic fueled by the growth and increasing importance of the Internet. The project will help to expand CCI's operations and improve access to the Internet in Mexico, Venezuela and Central America.
The $109.5 million project is IFC's first investment in an Internet-related service provider in Central and Latin America. The project consists of $83.5 million of private equity and a credit facility of $26 million. The investor group consists of Telematica EDC, C.A., an affiliate of Corporacion de Electricidad de Caracas, S.A., the largest private-sector electric utility in Venezuela, TCW/Latin America Partners LLC, a private equity fund, Fondelec Essential Services Growth Fund, L.P., a private equity investment firm, Internexus S.A., and Glacier Latin-America Ltd.
The project will help close the gap between developed and emerging economies as the information revolution continues to spread worldwide, said Declan Duff, IFC Director of Telecommunications, Transportation and Utilities.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will 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.