Liquid Telecom seeks 9 billion rand to refinance its debt

Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman of Liquid Telecom and Founder of the Econet Group.

Liquid Telecom is raising R 9 billion ($ 600 million) to refinance existing debt, as well as to support network expansion plans.

Africa’s largest fiber company, with a network running from Cape Town to Cairo, yesterday launched the R9 billion fundraising bond.

The company owns and operates more than 70,000 kilometers of fiber optic routes in 13 regions of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa, five data centers and satellite earth stations.

For the 12 months ended November 30, 2020, Liquid Telecom’s revenue and EBITDA were $ 773 million and $ 231.1 million, respectively.

The funds from the debt refinancing announced yesterday are intended to support Liquid Telecom as it continues to evolve and expand its network capabilities, as well as its digital and technological solutions offerings across Africa.

In addition, the new financing plan is expected to help deliver long-term benefits to Liquid Telecom’s growing number of businesses, operators and retail customers, which currently total more than 143,000 in 13 countries of operation.

Liquid Telecom serves businesses by offering services in the wholesale, enterprise, voice, wholesale and retail data segments, and a new segment of technology solutions.

The group is owned by Econet Global, controlled by Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa.

Liquid Telecom’s debt refinancing comes eight months after Bloomberg reported that the coronavirus pandemic is hampering Masiyiwa’s efforts to sell a stake in Africa’s largest fiber company.

At the time, it was reported that Masiyiwa was looking for buyers for 20% to 34% of Liquid Telecommunications Holdings, for up to $ 600 million, as he needed the money to pay off a loan of $ 375 million. dollars backed by the Public Investment Corporation.

The bond issue launched yesterday has since attracted takers, with Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a company of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), which announced yesterday that it had pledged to buy up to 50 million. dollars from Liquid Telecom’s bond issue.

EAIF, acting through its agent Ninety One SA, together with the International Finance Corporation and DEG-Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, have committed to place purchase orders up to a total of 178 million dollars under the new ticket offering.

“The growth of Africa’s digital infrastructure is a cornerstone to recovering the continent from the global economic devastation of COVID-19,” says Sumit Kanodia, chief investment officer at Ninety One.

“EAIF has been supporting the growth of the digital and telecommunications sector in Africa since 2003. We have supported projects including marine and terrestrial optical fibers, communications towers and satellites that have brought advanced communications to Africa and have had a significant impact on the economic development of many countries. . Liquid Telecom is a dynamic and successful company that we are happy to support. “

EAIF’s participation in the liquid bond issue is its fourth large-scale digital and telecom transaction in Africa in the past 12 months.

In 2020, EAIF supported bond issues by Helios Towers and Sonatel, the regional digital and telecommunications company based in Senegal.

Bond issues mobilized C $ 800 million in private capital invested in African high-tech companies.

EAIF has also loaned West Indian Ocean Cable Co (WIOCC) $ 40 million as part of WIOCC’s business development program.

Liquid Telecom seeks 9 billion rand to refinance its debt

Source link Liquid Telecom seeks 9 billion rand to refinance its debt

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