Since IFC’s first cellular investment in the former Zaire in 1991, IFC has continued to invest heavily in the sector in Africa and to partner with leading pan-African mobile telecommunications companies such as Celtel.
With a long-standing relationship dating back to 1999, IFC has made a series of investments totaling US$417 million in Celtel operations in 14 countries of which, US$131 million in syndications under the IFC B loan program.
IFC almost always brings along co-investors into projects, providing comfort and acting as a catalyst in encouraging other private investors into markets that are often considered too risky. It is estimated that each dollar of IFC funding attracts approximately US$9 in outside private financing.
In June 2007, IFC helped to mobilize US$160 million from commercial banks and bilateral financial institutions, in addition to US$160 million for its own account to support Celtel’s expansion in DRC, Madagascar, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. The transaction marks the first-ever mobilization of IFC syndicated loans in Madagascar, Malawi, and Sierra Leone, helping bring long-term commercial financing to markets at the frontier of private sector development.
IFC’s support of Celtel in its development from a small start-up company into the large corporate entity it is today, is a reflection of IFC’s commitment to a true partnership with its clients.