(Press Release) Bogotá, Colombia, 25 February 2014 – A fund managed by Ashmore Colombia, a leading Andean private equity investment manager and subsidiary of Ashmore Group plc, one of the world’s leading Emerging Markets investment managers, announced that it has agreed to sell 100% of Lazus S.A.S. (“Lazus”), formerly Promitel Colombia S.A.S., a telecom infrastructure company to Columbus International Inc. (“Columbus”), a diversified telecommunications company.
Lazus started operations in 2001 and today operates metropolitan fiber optic networks in 10 cities in Colombia. Lazus also owns and operates telecommunication systems in Panama City, Panama and San Jose, Costa Rica with growing operations in Peru. Lazus’ extensive fiber-based network spans approximately 3,500 kilometers across 12 cities represented by a cumulative population base of nearly 23 million people.
Funds advised by Ashmore purchased Lazus in January 2013 from Promigas. During its investment, Ashmore was able to support the management team in its expansion plans both within Colombia and regionally.
Camilo Villaveces, President and CEO of Ashmore Colombia, commented:
“The sale of Lazus highlights the attractive growth opportunities across the Andean region. We have been excited to work with the management of Lazus as they have continued to execute on building their presence in Colombia and regionally. We are also delighted to have secured an attractive return from the sale of Lazus, representing approximately 2x our investment cost, which represents an excellent return for both our fund investors and our co-investors who supported us in this transaction.”
Brendan Paddick, chairman and chief executive officer of Columbus, stated:
“The acquisition of Lazus marks yet another important milestone for Columbus as we continue to execute on our focused business plan. We have been, and continue to be, big supporters of growth in Colombia and our latest investment further demonstrates our belief in the strength of the Colombian economy and the quality of its people. Coupling Lazus’ high quality network infrastructure with our Columbus Business Solutions suite of services will enable Columbus to deliver next generation, business class telecom services to the rapidly growing business community in Colombia. We look forward to welcoming Lazus, its customers and its 190 highly talented professionals into the Columbus family.”