Ashmore sells Colombian telecommunications firm

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Ashmore sells Colombian telecommunications firm

A fund managed by Andean private equity investment manager Ashmore Colombia has signed a definitive agreement to sell of 100 per cent of Lazus SAS, a privately held telecommunications infrastructure provider, to Columbus International, a diversified telecommunications provider in the Caribbean, Central America and Andean region.

Lazus started operations in 2001 and today operates metropolitan fibre optic networks in 10 cities across Colombia. The company also owns and operates telecommunication systems in Panama City, Panama and San Jose, Costa Rica. Lazus' extensive, fiber-based network spans approximately 3,500 kilometers, spanning 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.

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 CBS suite of services will enable Columbus to deliver next generation, business class telecom services to the rapidly growing business community in Colombia.

Camilo Villaveces, President and CEO of Ashmore Colombia, stated:

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 are delighted to have secured an attractive return from the sale of Lazus for both our investors in FIC I and our co-investors who supported us in this transaction.

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