(PR Newswire) March 3, 2010 – ACON Latin America Opportunities Fund, L.P. (“ALAOF”), a private equity investment fund affiliated with ACON Investments LLC (“ACON”), announced that it has completed an investment in Credivalores-Crediservicios, S.A.S. (“Credivalores”), the leading non-bank provider of consumer loans in Colombia. Credivalores offers a broad range of innovative credit and micro-insurance products designed to address the particular needs and profile of Colombia’s large under-banked population, where fewer than 25% of working age adults have access to any formal credit products. During 2009, Credivalores extended over 75,000 loans totaling approximately $215 million. The Company will continue to be led by Mr. David Seinjet, its founder and CEO.
As part of their partnership, Seinjet and ACON have collectively invested approximately $25 million of new equity into the Company making Credivalores one of Colombia’s best-capitalized non-bank lenders. With ACON’s support and involvement, Credivalores will continue to grow its customer base, expand geographically throughout Colombia and develop new credit products to meet its customer’s needs. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.
“This capitalization of Credivalores represents an important milestone for the Company and its employees, who have worked so diligently over the last seven years providing our customers, partners and funding sources with the highest degree of attention and service,” said Mr. David Seinjet, Credivalores’ CEO. “As a committed long-term investor with experience in financial services and a 10-year history of investing successfully in Colombia, ACON is an ideal partner for our Company and management team as we expand and evolve the Company’s business model”.
“Credivalores’ innovative credit products have enabled the Company to address the needs of households with limited credit history as they enter Colombia’s growing middle class”, said Mr. Jose Miguel Knoell of ACON. “The Company’s conservative underwriting policies coupled with effective third-party distribution and collection channels have kept loan losses significantly below the industry average. We believe that David Seinjet and the rest of the management team have done an outstanding job positioning the Company for accelerated growth and we are proud to have partnered with them in this investment. Our investment in Credivalores also underscores our long-term commitment to Colombia and our confidence in the future of this promising economy.”
Credivalores was advised by Inverlink, one of Colombia’s leading investment banking firms.
Founded in 2003, Credivalores (www.credivalores.com) is headquartered in Bogota, Colombia and is one of the largest non-bank lenders in the country. The Company has total assets of approximately $325mm and over 157,000 customers. Credivalores currently offers four main branded products: payroll deduction loans (“Crediservicios”); check discounting (“Crediya”), consumer loans collected through utility invoices (“Crediuno”) and loans to finance the purchase of insurance policies (“Credipoliza”). The Company also sells a broad range of micro-insurance products underwritten by third-party insurance companies. In order to market loans and conduct collections, the Company has agreements in place with over 1,700 distribution and collection partners, which include Colombia’s leading public-sector employers, retail chains, public utilities and insurance companies.
About ACON Investments
Founded in 1996, ACON Investments is a private equity investment firm focused on United States and Latin America with over $1.5 billion of capital under management. ALAOF is ACON’s third private equity fund focused on Latin America. The Fund invests throughout Latin America focusing on industries or businesses at key inflection points in their development and pursues these opportunities in close partnership with established management teams. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACON has offices and investment professionals throughout the Americas including Mexico City and Sao Paulo.
ACON was one of the first private equity firms to invest in Colombia starting with its investment in regional retailer Almacenes Vivero in 1998 followed by the acquisition in 1999 of supermarket chain Carulla y Cia. These two companies were merged in 2000 to form Carulla Vivero, one of Colombia largest and most profitable retailers, which ACON successfully sold to Almacenes Exito, another Colombian retailer, in 2006.