The World Bank’s private equity investment arm, International Finance Corporation (IFC), has announced that it is providing USD120 million in financing for Guatemalan mobile infrastructure provider Continental Towers to help the company build and maintain base transceiver stations (BTS) across Central America. IFC’s investment comprises a USD40 million loan and an USD80 million syndicated loan, with participation from HSBC and Banco General (both Panama), the Netherlands Development Finance Company and Corporacion Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura (CIFI). The investment will be used to double the number of towers that Continental Towers currently operates in Central America, as well as financing its expansion into Nicaragua, a country which currently has the lowest wireless penetration in Central America (88.3%), according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. Jose Paz, CEO of Continental Towers, commented: ‘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’.
Continental Towers, which was established in 2008, currently 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. In addition to providing tower-sharing services for companies, Continental Towers works with local municipalities to use their towers as ‘Luminarias’, which hold street lights and security cameras.