Washington, D.C. /Guatemala City, Guatemala July 10, 2012
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a $120 million financing package for Continental Towers to help the company build and maintain mobile-phone towers across Central America, increasing mobile-phone coverage and reducing communication costs.
IFC’s investment comprises a $40 million loan and an $80 million syndicated loan, with participation from HSBC Bank (Panama), S.A.; Panama’s Banco General; FMO (Netherlands Development Finance Company); and CIFI (Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura). The investment will be used to double the number of towers that Continental Towers operates in Central America, as well as its finance expansion into Nicaragua.
“IFC understands the unique needs of growing companies in Latin America’s telecommunications sector and has provided us with a financing package that will allow us to continue our role as one the leading regional independent tower companies in Latin America,” said Jose Paz, CEO of Continental Towers.
Guatemala’s Continental Towers, established in 2008, also has a presence in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The company expects to double the size of its tower network in the next two years.
Bernard Sheahan, IFC Director of Infrastructure and Natural Resources in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, said, “Broadening access to affordable mobile telecommunications services remains a crucial part of development across Latin America. With this investment, IFC is facilitating access to knowledge, innovation, and improved government and business services that mobile communications can bring.”
Continental Towers leases space on its mobile towers to telecommunications companies. The reduced costs of leasing towers gives smaller companies access to existing facilities and allows larger operators to expand into remote areas that would otherwise be unprofitable. Lower tower costs should result in enhanced service offerings and lower mobile prices for Latin American consumers.
In addition to tower-sharing services for companies, Continental Towers works with local municipalities to use their towers as “Luminarias,” which hold street lights and security cameras to enhance safety. The towers can also provide free local wifi for communities.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit