BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
Pete Pizarro, Chairman and CEO of IT and telecom company eLandia International, is bullish on Latin America despite the U.S. crisis and its growing effect on the region. Not only did his company present record third-quarter results last week (largely because of new business in Latin America), but it's also uniquely positioned for further strong growth, he argues. "From a business perspective, it's a perfect storm of opportunities," Pizarro says.
First, eLandia is awash in money aimed at investing in Latin America just as cash has become more important than ever, with credit tightening up as a result of the global uncertainty. Earlier this year, it raised $130 million in capital. "That was raised to do acquisitions and aggressive organic growth," he says.
CASH IS KING
Meanwhile, as many investors retrench and financing grows more difficult, companies that can pay cash for acquisitions have a competitive advantage. "We have a market where cash is king [and] we have a significant cash kitty," Pizarro says.
Second, eLandia's war chest has actually become much more valuable since it was originally raised. "We have had an opportunity to do acquisitions at a stronger dollar than 30 days ago [as] currencies in Latin America have been devalued," he says. "Whether the glass is half empty or half full, from our perspective, the dollars we had in the bank for several months…are much stronger than we had six months ago."
Third, Latin America is among the few growth markets worldwide. "Just [the other] week, the International Monetary Fund said that...
Keywords: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, CTT, Desca, FCPA, LatiNode, Mexico, Transistemas, Venezuela