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IFC invests BRL 150 million in Phoenix to help expand coverage of telecommunications services and increase digital inclusion in Brazil


IFC

Patricia Carvalho

Phone: (5511) 5185-6873                                        

E-mail:
pcarvalho@ifc.org

Phoenix Tower do Brasil


Luciene Pandolfo

Phone: (5511) 2508-8630
E-mail:
lpandolfo@phoenixtower.com.br


São Paulo, Brazil, March 16, 2018 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has provided a BRL 150 million (equivalent to $46 million) 8-year debt financing in Brazilian local currency to Phoenix Tower Participações S.A., a wireless infrastructure operator, to support the acceleration of its telecommunication towers footprint in the country. IFC’s investment will support the continued improvement of coverage and affordability of telecommunications and broadband services, contributing to Brazil’s digital inclusion and economic growth.

This is IFC’s second investment in Phoenix, following a BRL 80 million financing in 2016.  Since then, Phoenix has experienced rapid growth as a leading build-to-suit constructor and operator of towers and distributed antenna systems (DAS) for better indoor broadband coverage in Brazil.


This new long-term debt financing will support Phoenix to continue expanding site acquisition and construction under its tower assets program in Brazil. This will help promote greater competition among tower operators, which construct and lease tower space to wireless operators, enabling them to share infrastructure as several operators can co-locate their antennas on each tower. The construction of additional telecommunication towers allows mobile operators to expand service both in terms of capacity and geographic coverage. Further, the sharing of telecommunication towers among operators will increase efficiency, driving down the incremental cost of expanding coverage for all carriers, thereby making services more affordable for wireless broadband users.


“Phoenix is proud of having IFC as a partner,” stated Mauricio Giusti, Chief Executive Officer of Phoenix Tower Participações S.A. “This additional debt financing is relevant since Phoenix's strategy is to increasingly expand the partnership with mobile operators in the challenge of deploying infrastructure more efficiently.”


“IFC is pleased to partner with Phoenix once again, to help improve internet penetration and the growth of digital economy in Brazil,” stated Aniko Szigetvari, IFC Global Head of Telecom, Media and Technology Group. “Today, digital connectivity inclusion is more important than ever to social and economic development as mobile phones and internet have changed the way goods and services are delivered and communications take place across all segments of society. Brazil faces an important challenge in making quality broadband connectivity accessible and affordable for all, especially in underserved areas”, she added.


IFC has been investing in Brazil’s private sector since 1957 to address the country’s most critical development challenges, including those of the urbanization, social inclusion, competitiveness and productivity, and management of natural resources. In the entire Latin America, by December 2017, IFC had committed over $3 billion to supporting the telecommunication sector.


About Phoenix Tower Participações S.A.


Phoenix Brazil’s strategy and business plan are to own and operate strategic wireless infrastructure, which are characterized by strong wireless growth, strong underlying real estate rights, while leasing those towers to multi-national and investment grade mobile network operators, which face significant capital expenditure needs in order to enhance and grow their wireless networks. Phoenix Brazil is majority owned by funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities.


About IFC


IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.