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New LAVCA Director Challenges Industry To Build Common Voice

28 February 2006

Chicago, IL, February 28, 2006 – Fundraising remains hot for venture capital and private equity in Latin America and the Caribbean, but that doesn’t satisfy LAVCA’s newest Board Director Enrique Bascur, Managing Director for Citigroup Venture Capital (CVC) International.

In an interview following his recent appointment to LAVCA’s Board, Mr. Bascur stated that one priority for his new role will be to help the association address the industry’s need for a common identity and reliable information.

“The basic thing is to have a common understanding in the Latin American business community of what the industry is, who is in the industry, and to present the industry in a more consistent way,” said Mr. Bascur. “Having an association like LAVCA gives the industry an identity and presents a set of information that regulators and policymakers recognize.”

“You need a voice like LAVCA which represents less particular interests and more a common view,” continued Mr. Bascur.

Mr. Bascur counted CVC International’s track record and long-term commitment to emerging markets private equity as a strength he can bring to his new role as a Director of LAVCA.

CVC International invests in Latin America and the Caribbean via a recently raised global merging market fund as well as some proprietary investments and has been active in the region since the early 1990s.

“In Latin America we’re more likely to invest in Mexico, Brazil and Chile,” said Mr. Bascur. “We’ve looked more selectively at the Andean region as well as the Caribbean. We’re not a local sector investor – we believe we’re in a better situation if we invest in sectors connected with global markets.”

Notable CVC International investments include a trio of Chilean investments – salmon company Techmar, which CVC exited in 1998 at 5 times the money, telecommunications firm GTD, exited in December 2004 with an IRR in the range of 20%, and salt company Punta de Lobos, which has more than tripled its EBITDA since 2001.

“Punta de Lobos has become the primary source of de-icing salt in the U.S. east coast,” said Mr. Bascur. “CVC has a 30% stake in this company and we are very happy with the returns.”

According to Mr. Bascur, another promising investment is Miami-based computer parts distributor INTCOMEX, which CVC International acquired in 2004.

“We believe that Latin America is a significant market that deserves attention due to good potential and realized returns,” said Mr. Bascur. “Economies today are going into a fairly high growth period, and nothing is unrelated. A commodity boom throughout the world impacts Latin America – we see a number of opportunities related to strong trends in the world economy.”

“The industry in Latin America is fairly new,” he added. “But we have a strong presence in the region and can help LAVCA address issues in the marketplace.