SOURCE: Enforta

January 30, 2006 04:00 ET

Enforta Expanding Broadband Services Throughout Russia

Investment From Sumitomo Corporation and Baring Vostok Capital Partners

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS and MOSCOW -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 30, 2006 -- Enforta BV announced today that it will expand its broadband services to another 12 regional Russian cities by the middle of 2006 and an additional 14 regional cities by 2007. Enforta is currently providing broadband services in Novosibirsk and Ryazan. In all, Enforta will provide services in at least 28 cities over the next two years.

Enforta's expansion plans follow the announced recent financing with investments from Sumitomo Corporation and Baring Vostok Capital Partners. Sumitomo provided the initial funding for Enforta in early 2005.

During 2005 Russia became one of the top 10 Internet markets in the world in terms of users. Enforta's offering is designed to bring a low cost, high bandwidth service to meet the growing demand for high-speed Internet access by businesses and consumers throughout Russia. In addition to Internet access, Enforta is providing telephony (VoIP), email, website hosting, and dedicated ('VPN') services assuring secure communication in a variety of applications including the interconnection of ATM machines and branch offices. Service packages start for as little as $39 per month.

Enforta's initial network will use advanced 'WiMAX', a newly developed form of wireless technology which, together with other state-of-the-art connectivity solutions will allow for the rapid, cost effective deployment of networks that will support virtually all advanced communication services. By so doing, Enforta will bring cutting edge services to areas that are largely under if not un-served today.

"Enforta will be a 'first-mover' in providing broadband services to one of the fastest growing Internet markets in the world. The economics of the wireless broadband technology are well suited to provide service to this market," said Elena Ivashentseva, Partner at Baring Vostok. "The Enforta business plan is exciting and we are pleased with the results achieved in our initial trials. Sumitomo is happy to increase its investment to assure that Enforta remains a leader in the wireless broadband segment," said Katsuya Kashiki, Sumitomo's Manager of New Business and Investment in Russia.

"Enforta's market opportunity is extraordinary, and with the funding and support of Sumitomo and Baring Vostok, we are assured of the ability to deploy rapidly a first class affordable network," said Enforta's Chairman, Theodore "Ted" Schell. "We are privileged to have attracted such extraordinary partners as Sumitomo and Baring Vostok -- partners with extensive experience in working with high growth technology based service companies. This will help assure our success."

Enforta was formed in October 2003, and today operates in two cities -- Novosibirsk and Ryazan. The Company was founded by Mssrs Lee Sparkman, President, and Victor Ratnikov, General Director, both with substantial experience in building advanced telecommunications networks in emerging markets over the past 20 years; and by Mr. Theodore Schell, Enforta's Chairman, an internationally known telecommunications executive and investor.

Enforta is a member of the WiMAX Forum -- an industry-led consortium of over 300 members developing and promoting standards for IEEE 802.16 wireless broadband technology.

For more information on Enforta's current operations and planned expansion see www.enforta.com or contact pr@enforta.com.

About Sumitomo Corporation

Sumitomo Corporation is amongst the world's largest integrated trading and investment enterprises with annual turnover of $88.4 USD billion for the fiscal year ending March 2005 and not only conducts commodity transactions in all industries utilizing worldwide networks, but also provides related customers with various financing, serves as an organizer and a coordinator for various projects, and invests in businesses from the information industry to the retailing industry, thus showing great diversification as an Integrated Business Enterprise. Sumitomo Corporation is headquartered in Japan, and has offices in 69 other countries around the world. In Russia Sumitomo Corporation began its activities over 40 years ago and has 5 offices. www.sumitomocorp.co.jp/english

About Baring Vostok Capital Partners

Baring Vostok Capital Partners is the manager of three private equity funds. The NIS Fund (1994 with $160 million) was one of the first or largest shareholders in a number of Russian or CIS companies including: Burren Energy, Syktyvkar Forestry, Golden Telecom, Vimpelcom, Sladco, Borjomi, and Rogan Brewery. To date, the NIS Fund has been the number one performing Russian private equity fund and its results place it in the top quartile of global private equity funds over the same period. BVCP raised a second fund in 2000 (the Baring Vostok Private Equity Fund) with $205 million in capital and its third fund in 2004 (the Baring Vostok Private Equity Fund III) with $400 million in capital. Today, BVCP's funds own significant stakes in Europlan Leasing, CTC Media, Golden Telecom, Burren Energy, Spassk Cement, PPE Group, Yandex, Ozon, Rusfinance, and Caspian Gas Corporation. The Funds' shareholders are primarily institutional investors from Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. www.bvcp.ru

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Enforta BV
    Rokin 55
    1022KK Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    www.enforta.com

    Moscow Office
    +7 095 5404828