Horizon Telecom International Secures $92.5 Million for Broadband Build-Out in Brazil

Explore this investment 03.16.01

GE Capital, Spire, Join Great Hill Partners in Second Round of Funding

BRAZIL (March 16, 2001) – Horizon Telecom International Inc., which provides the most advanced broadband network in Brazil, today announced it secured $92.5 million in second-round financing. Horizon, which was founded by CEO Chris Torto and Great Hill Partners in 1996, will use the funds to extend its network – which lays the foundation for 2-way interactive services – in the highly populated states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, as well as the city of Manaus.

Horizon is the only licensed broadband services provider for 1.6 million homes and businesses in 37 tightly clustered cities. Its network provides cable, video, and data services to more than 40,000 customers and has the capability to support voice services upon deregulation.

“Brazil is the world’s sixth-largest television market, and it’s largely untapped,” said Christopher Torto, executive chairman of Horizon, which is based in Americana, Sao Paulo. “With this new round of funding, we will aggressively respond to the booming demand, accelerating our build-out and increasing our sales and marketing.”

Horizon’s network gives customers an always-available, high-service alternative to the country’s existing television infrastructure, which is not equipped to provide broadband services.

The new funding provides Horizon with ample capital to continue its growth. Great Hill Partners and First Union Capital Partners joined new investors Spire Capital Partners and GE Capital in the financing. Great Hill and First Union Capital Partners previously had invested $50 million in December 1999.

“Horizon’s extremely capable executive team continues to deliver a break-through service in a country that has proven its commercial readiness for broadband services,” said John Hayes, managing partner of Great Hill Partners and chairman of Horizon’s board of directors. “The underlying architecture, and its ability to support new, interactive video and data services, will be a sustainable advantage going forward.”

About Horizon Telecom International

Horizon Telecom International Inc. provides the most advanced comprehensive broadband services in Brazil. Founded in 1996 by CEO Chris Torto and private equity firm Great Hill Partners, Horizon is deploying its broadband 2-way interactive network in the states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, as well as the city of Manaus, a leading economic center. As the only licensed broadband service provider for 1.6 million homes and businesses, Horizon offers an unprecedented level of cost-effective, fully bundled video and data services. For more information, please call Chris Torto at 011-55-19-471-8900.

About Great Hill Partners

Great Hill Partners is a private equity investment firm that specializes in data communications, IT services, telecommunications, media, information, education and business services companies. Recent investments include CityNet Telecommunications, Interelate, K-Solutions, ManagedStorage International ManagedOps.com, Dame Broadcasting, Edge Connections, High-Tech Institute, SmartMail, DURO Communications and Horizon Telecom International. The firm has over $1 billion in capital under management from institutional investors including global commercial and investment banks, state and corporate pension funds, university endowments and private trusts.