Washington, D.C./Bogotá, Colombia, November
13, 2013 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has invested $15
million to finance the development and expansion of Avantel’s 4G LTE network
in Colombia. This investment is part of an equity capital raise that has
also been supported by Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF), Appaloosa Management,
and the major shareholder of Avantel, Discovery Capital.
Through this project, IFC is supporting the
Government’s commitment to increasing competition and improving quality
of service in the Colombian telecommunications sector. Avantel will use
the new capital to acquire 4GLTE spectrum, set up a new network in the
country, refinance debt, and support the expected growth in subscribers.
Avantel is one of five players in the communications
market that won the Government of Colombia’s 4GLTE spectrum auction last
June. The company will launch its 4G LTE service through a portfolio of
popular smartphones, tablets and data devices to compete with the existing
“Avantel can contribute meaningfully to
the Ministry of Technologies’ (MinTic) Vive Digital targets through its
high-speed data services and value plans targeting enterprise and government
users. MinTic’s 4G auction and implementation of regulation are
essential to achieving the objectives behind Colombia’s national broadband
plan,” said Christopher Fiore, Chairman of Avantel.
“We are pleased to participate in
Avantel’s capital raise and support its expansion plans. Colombia's forward-looking
telecom policies are accelerating deployment of the internet and enhancing
competition in the communications sector,”
said Aniko Szigetvari, IFC´s Head of Telecom, Media and Technology for
Africa and Latin America, Aniko Szigetvari, said that, as the fourth telecom
operator in Colombia, “Avantel has an important role in expanding a robust
wireless broadband service and offering affordable usage of data and voice
In Colombia, IFC focuses on supporting
sectors essential to social and economic development, including natural
resources industries, infrastructure, health, education, agribusiness,
and public-private partnerships to build ports, roads, and airports. IFC
helps leading Colombian companies modernize and expand their businesses.
IFC also promotes access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises,
and works on improving the investment climate by simplifying regulations
and royalty management.
To learn more about IFC in Latin America and the Caribbean, visit www.ifc.org/lac.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private
sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we
use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty
and promote shared prosperity. In fiscal year 2013, our investments climbed
to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the
private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development
challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Avantel S.A.S.
Founded in 1997, Avantel is one of the four
mobile telecom operators in Colombia. The company focuses on the communication
needs of its enterprise and government agency clients by offering value
added solutions that integrate voice, messaging services, mobile applications
and video content. Avantel provides service to approximately 20,000 enterprise
clients and government agencies. Avantel recently participated in the 4G
spectrum auction and successfully acquired 30 MHz of ‘Advanced Wireless
Spectrum’ (frequencies 1710-1755 / 2110-2155).