Liquid said they initially raise $550 million and another $150 million term loan.
“Liquid Telecommunications Financing PLC, part of the leading pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, which is majority owned by Strive Masiyiwa’s Econet Global, arranged its US$700 million bond and term loan financing package. The group raised $550 million in the international debt capital markets in its debut bond, in addition to a $150 million term loan,” said the company in a statement.
The successful pricing of the bond, which launched on June 21, is a significant milestone for both the group and the wider African telecoms sector, which remains one of the least penetrated fixed and mobile internet connectivity markets in Africa.
The Regulation S / Rule 144A Senior Secured Notes (the “Notes”), due 2022, will bear interest at a rate of 8.5% per annum and will be guaranteed by Liquid Telecommunications Holdings Limited and certain of its subsidiaries. The Notes are expected to be issued on July 13, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions. The proceeds of the offering, together with the term loan financing package, will be used for the refinancing of Liquid Telecom’s existing debt and general corporate purposes. The Notes have been rated in line with Liquid Telecom’s corporate ratings of Ba3 (stable) by Moody’s, and B+ (stable) by Fitch.
The funding will enable Liquid Telecom to further expand and enhance its pan-African fibre network – the largest of its kind in the region – and support its vision for a more connected Africa. Through organic growth and acquisition, Liquid Telecom has built over 50,000km of fibre connecting 9 countries in the region, and currently serves over 113,000 enterprise, carrier and retail customers.
Meanwhile, a new satellite technology pioneered in Africa by Liquid Telecom and Newtec was among last night’s winners at the Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards, picking up the accolade for Enterprise Service Innovation.
The prestigious Innovation Awards recognise the industry’s most innovative and successful project partnerships between operators and vendors over the last 12 months.
Last year Liquid Telecom and Newtec deployed the first Mx-DMA® satellite links in Africa in response to increasing demand from enterprises wanting always-on satellite connectivity with channels always open and immediately available.
Gem Diamonds, a mining company in Botswana, was the first Mx-DMA deployment in Africa. Liquid Telecom and Newtec worked with VBN Services, an enterprise service provider in Botswana which manages the networks of Gem Diamonds.
Stuart Brown, CEO of VBN, said “With the unique Mx-DMA technology, Liquid Telecom and Newtec have developed and deployed a genuinely innovative technology which results in immediate benefits – both for end-users and system integrators like ourselves.
“We’ve been waiting for this in Africa. Thanks to Mx-DMA, companies here can now have full duplex over satellite with minimal latency; a service which provides the capacity, speeds and quality needed for corporate data and voice services.”
The Newtec Dialog platform with its unique, award-winning Mx-DMA technology is now available across Africa and suitable for all types of enterprises in Africa including banking, oil and gas, SMEs and enterprise networks, broadcast cellular backhaul, Government and defence.