“Building resilient and sustainable infrastructure is critical for emerging market economies and a key driver of their post-Covid growth. We have a unique opportunity to put growth market economies on the path to a low-carbon and climate-resilient future, and counter digital exclusion. BlueOrchard is committed to seizing this opportunity and accompanying both growth markets and investors on this journey,” said Philipp Mueller, CEO of BlueOrchard. 

CREI is integrated within the global telecom service group Two Thirty Three Holdings, which covers all aspects of the telecom tower value chain in emerging markets, from design to manufacturing, installation, and operations. The funding provided by BlueOrchard will support CREI in building 618 tower sites within the next 18 months. Each tower can serve on average 3’800 households, taking the project’s potential reach to 2.4 million households with better mobile phone connectivity within the next one and half years.

The Philippines is experiencing strong GDP and population growth rates, yet its network currently has some of the lowest connection speeds and quality in South East Asia. At the same time, the Philippines has a young, digitally savvy, growing population that is increasingly urban, driving demand for mobile data. The Philippines is characterized by high levels of poverty, a large gap between the rich, middle, and poor populations, and stark differences in smartphone and data usage with a strong urban-rural divide.

The urgent need to develop sustainable infrastructure in the Philippines creates opportunities for impact and return on investment. The combination of a highly experienced management team, operational expertise, and significant local resources will prove to be invaluable in significantly driving improved data access, quality, affordability, reliability, and job creation for the local communities in the Philippines,” said Ashwin West, Head of Sustainable Infrastructure Investments at BlueOrchard.

CREI is one of the first players to be approved by the regulator to operate an outsourced towerco business in the Philippines and has been accredited by the two largest mobile network operators in the country. The investment by BlueOrchard is instrumental in accelerating the growth and enable further financing from investors such as leading development finance institutions. CREI targets continuous growth including deploying up to 2’000 telecom towers by 2024.

Over the past decade our business has grown its presence across 22 emerging markets, carried out the construction of over 7’000 tower sites, and manages the operations of over 23’000 sites today. We are delighted to work with the team at BlueOrchard to create sustainable digital infrastructure for local communities in the Philippines that depend on connectivity for their livelihood, schooling, business, and social participation”, said Kadri Hakim, CEO of CREI Group.

Index-Asia Limited acted as the exclusive financial advisor of CREI for this transaction.



About CREI Group

Communication & Renewable Energy Infrastructure (“CREI”) is an established asset management company of a portfolio of telecom and renewable power assets across Africa and South-East Asia. CREI is part of a global telecom infrastructure group, TwoThirtyThree Group (“Group”), that also builds, supplies, manufactures and provides maintenance services for telecom towers and power infrastructure assets. The Group was founded in 2007 and is currently present in 23 countries across Africa and Asia, managing a portfolio of 23,000 sites and has built more than 7,000 sites. CREI’s main activities entail providing sustainable energy and reliable connectivity to Mobile Network Operators (“MNOs”) and rural communities across developing countries. With the expertise and synergies created through its Group, CREI covers an integrated approach and is identified as a one stop shop for the Operators and Investors. CREI manages a portfolio of Telecom ESCO, TowerCo and Network as a Service (NaaS) assets with the aim to help MNOs decrease their carbon footprint while increasing efficiently their network reach.

About BlueOrchard Finance Ltd

BlueOrchard is a leading global impact investment manager and member of the Schroders Group. As a pioneering impact investor, the firm is dedicated to generating lasting positive impact for communities and the environment, while aiming at providing attractive returns to investors. BlueOrchard was founded in 2001, by initiative of the UN, as the first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments worldwide. Today, the firm offers impact investment solutions across asset classes, connecting millions of entrepreneurs in emerging and frontier markets with investors with the aim to make impact investment solutions accessible to all and to advance the conscious use of capital. Being a professional investment manager and expert in innovative blended finance mandates, BlueOrchard has a sophisticated international investor base and is a trusted partner of leading global development finance institutions. To date, BlueOrchard has invested over USD 9bn across more than 90 countries. Around 230 million poor and vulnerable people in emerging and frontier markets received access to financial and related services with the support of BlueOrchard as of December 2021. For additional information, please visit: www.blueorchard.com.


For further information, please contact:

Tahmina Theis
+41 22 596 47 69

The information in this publication was produced by BlueOrchard Finance Ltd (“BOF”) to the best of its present knowledge and belief. However, all data and financial information provided is on an unaudited and “as is” basis. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of BOF and its employees and are subject to change at any time without notice. BOF provides no guarantee with regard to the accuracy and completeness of the content in this publication and BOF does not under any circumstance, accept liability for any losses or damages which may arise from making use of, or relying upon any information, content or opinion provided by BOF in this publication. This publication may contain references or links to other publications and websites and BOF has not reviewed such other publications and websites and is not responsible in any way in relation to the content of such publications and websites. The information in this publication is the sole property of BOF unless otherwise noted, and may not be reproduced in full or in part without the express prior written consent of BOF. All investments involve risk. We note specifically that past performance is not an indication of future results. Emerging markets impact investments involve a unique and substantial level of risk that is critical to understand before engaging in any prospective relationship with BOF and its various managed funds. Investments in emerging markets, particularly those involving foreign currencies, may present significant additional risk and in all cases the risks implicated in this disclaimer include the risk of loss of invested capital. The materials provided in this publication are for informational purposes only and nothing in this publication can be construed as constituting any offer to purchase any product, or a recommendation/solicitation or other inducement to buy or sell any financial instrument of any kind and shall not under any circumstances be construed as absolving any reader of this publication of his/her responsibility for making an independent evaluation of the risks and potential rewards of any financial transaction. We note in particular that none of the investment products referred to in this publication constitute securities registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (of the United States of America) and BOF and its managed/advised funds are materially limited in their capacity to sell any financial products of any kind in the United States. No investment product referenced in this publication may be publicly offered for sale in the United States and nothing in this publication shall be construed under any circumstances as a solicitation of a US Person (as defined in applicable law/regulation) to purchase any BOF investment product. The information provided in this publication is intended for review and receipt only by those persons who are qualified (in accordance with applicable legal/regulatory definitions) in their respective place of residence and/or business to view it, and the information is not intended under any circumstances to be provided to any person who is not legally eligible to receive it. Any recipient of information from this publication who wishes to engage with BOF in furtherance of any transaction or any relationship whatsoever must consult his/her own tax, legal and investment professionals to determine whether such relationship and/or transaction is suitable. By no means is the information provided in this document aimed at persons who are residents of any country where the product mentioned herein is not registered or approved for sale or marketing or in which dissemination of such information is not permitted. BOF disclaims all liability for any direct or indirect damages and/or costs that may arise from the use of (whether such use is proper or improper), or access to, this publication (or the inability to access this publication).

Copyright © 2022, BlueOrchard Finance Ltd. All rights reserved.