Washington, D.C., May 17, 2006 —
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, has signed an agreement to purchase equity worth up to $15
million in Grupo Petrotesting, a Colombian oil and gas company.
Petrotesting shares with IFC a commitment to sustainable development, and
the collaboration aims both to channel oil and gas royalties more effectively
toward efforts to reduce poverty and to implement best practice environmental
and social programs. Petrotesting, an entrepreneurial company at an early
growth stage, will use IFC’s equity investment to strengthen its expansion
strategy in Latin America.
“This transaction reaffirms IFC’s commitment to supporting the growth
of Colombian companies that are operating in the local oil and gas sector.
Petrotesting’s commitment to long-term sustainable development in Colombia
and the Andean region and its strong growth potential are important factors
in making this investment,” said Rashad Kaldany, IFC’s Director for Oil,
Gas, Mining, and Chemicals.
Frank Kanayet, Chairman of Petrotesting, said, “We are very pleased with
the IFC investment. This will allow us to accelerate the development of
our assets and to expand our operations, both in Colombia and internationally.”
Atul Mehta, IFC’s Director for Latin America, noted, “The financing to
Petrotesting fits well with IFC’s strategy of supporting local oil and
gas companies in Colombia that are looking for sustainable growth and sound
expansion in the region.”
Manuel Gonzalez, Executive Vice President of Petrotesting, said, “Having
IFC as our partner will help us access global markets and continue with
our social and environmental work. This is important as we continue to
build a better country, where peace can be a reality.”
IFC in Colombia
IFC’s total portfolio in Colombia was $280 million as of June 2005. Since
Colombia joined IFC in 1956, the Corporation has provided $1.4 billion,
including syndications, for 58 companies.
IFC’s strategy in Colombia involves increasing support to strategic sectors
for economic growth in the context of free trade agreements. This strategy
includes financing infrastructure projects, such as port expansion and
road and airport concessions, as well as support to companies in the logistic
services sector. In addition, IFC seeks to finance oil and gas companies
that are expanding in the region. The financial sector also continues to
be one of IFC’s priorities in Colombia, with special emphasis on housing
finance and microfinance, as well as strengthening local capital markets
and improving corporate governance.
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates
its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but
is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries
provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment
in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve
people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing
world, 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 FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own
funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140
developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was
$19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants
in loan syndications. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.