ImpSat Launches Operations In Chile and Perú

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (06/07/2000) - ImpSat Fiber Networks Inc., a telecommunications service provider, plans to invest US$30 million to launch operations in Chile and Peru, increasing its presence in Latin America to eight countries.

The company, which is building a regional broadband network in Latin America, will spend $20 million in Chile and $10 million in Peru to tap into the countries' data transmission markets, which together are worth about $360 million, the company said.

ImpSat, whose focus is to provide Internet access and voice and data transmission services to businesses and government agencies in Latin America, has about 1,900 corporate clients in the region, according to the company.

It had revenue of $228.5 million in fiscal year 1999, ended Dec. 31, 1999, a 9.8 percent increase over fiscal 1998, but posted a net loss of $131.5 million, compared to a net loss of $34 million the previous year, according to the company.

ImpSat, like many other companies, is trying to cash in on Latin America's demand for advanced telecommunications services and infrastructure. After letting what is widely considered to have been inept and corrupt state-owned monopolies rule for decades, Latin American governments began in the 1990s to inject privatization and competition into their telecommunications markets. The result has been a steady improvement in the services and technology available to consumers and businesses.

The company went public in February on Nasdaq, but its share price is trading below its IPO price of $17. The stock was trading at $14.50 this afternoon.

British Telecom owns about 19 percent of the company, according to Hoover's Inc.

ImpSat operates in Argentina (where it is based), Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, México, Brazil and the U.S. It can be reached at http://www.impsat.com/.

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