Washington DC, June 30, 2004.-
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has invested $10 million in Sonda S.A., a leading IT services provider in Chile.
IFC’s investment consists of an equity investment in preferred shares for a minority percentage of Sonda. With this operation, IFC is supporting a company that has successfully grown from an entrepreneurial venture to become a leading IT services company in Latin America.
Founded in 1974 and headquartered in Santiago, Sonda is one of the largest IT integrators in Latin America, with offices in 10 countries and over 3,000 workers. It provides a wide range of IT services, including hardware and software integration, application software development, IT solutions for various industries, training services, and outsourcing and support services.
Mohsen Khalil, Director of IFC’s Global Information and Communications Technology Department, said, “IFC’s investment in Sonda provides a powerful example of entrepreneurial success and of a local company that has had the vision to expand regionally. IFC is a long-term partner, and we look forward to continue supporting Sonda, as well as the IT sector in Latin America.”
Bernard Pasquier, Director of IFC’s Latin America and Caribbean Department, also noted, “IFC’s financing to IT companies in the region is essential to improving the efficiency of the corporate sector and contributing to private sector growth and competitiveness. It can also help enhance e-government mechanisms in Latin America, which Sonda has already implemented in Chile.”
Andrés Navarro, Sonda’s President and founder, said, “It is very important for us that IFC has become one of our shareholders, especially considering our plans to grow our operations in the rest of the Americas.”
IFC’s mission (
) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing 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 FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries.
IFC’s Global Information and Communications Technology Department, a joint unit with the World Bank, seeks to promote access to information and communication technologies in emerging markets. Its role is fundamental to the World Bank Group’s mandate, as information technology is vital to economic growth. The IT investment division of the department operates as a venture capital or private equity group for projects in the sector.