Liquid Telecom, which is majority-owned by Strive Masiyiwa’s Econet Global has raised $850 million in bond and term loan financing to refinance the group’s existing debt and to support its growth strategy.
The Group says of the US$840 million, US$620 million was floated in the international bond markets while the US$220 million equivalent is in South African Rand term loan.
According to Kate Hennessy, Group Chief Financial Officer, “We are very pleased, considering the challenging times we are in, that investors in the international debt markets have supported us with such a successful refinance. The level of interest from high-quality investors has been unprecedented for an African issuer and reflects the confidence that investors have in the future growth strategy for the Group as we address underdeveloped telecommunications and internet access across Africa.”
Some of the investors interested included International Finance Corporation, DEG and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund as anchor investors in the over 200 investors listed. The order book, which totalled US$3.2 billion, was more than 5 times oversubscribed helping to drive a coupon rate of 5.5% compared to the Group’s 8.5% debut bond coupon in July 2017.
The new financing package is expected to help deliver long-term benefits to Liquid Telecom’s growing number of enterprise, carrier and retail customers, which currently total over 143,000 customers across 13 countries of operation. Liquid Telecom serves businesses of all sizes through a differentiated, comprehensive and expanding digital solutions service offering.
Liquid Telecom is present across 13 countries primarily in Eastern, Southern and South Africa and serves mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media and content companies and retail customers with high-speed, reliable connectivity, hosting and co-location and digital services. It has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, stretching more than 73,000km.