Businesses & Financial News

AFRICA: IFC in a US$820 million bond deal with Liquid Telecom

By Seth Emmanuel

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, invested in Thursday’s bond issued by a subsidiary of Liquid Telecommunications Holdings Ltd., which will allow the telecoms and technology solutions company to expand access to broadband Internet and digital and cloud services across Africa, further facilitating the growth of the continent’s digital economy.

Proceeds from the bond issued by Liquid Telecommunications Financing PLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liquid Telecommunications Holdings Ltd, will enable the company to refinance existing debt and free up funds to expand its digital infrastructure network across Africa, including in markets with low broadband penetration.

By developing digital infrastructure, Liquid Telecommunications, Africa’s largest independent fiber, data center and cloud technology provider, aims to increase digital connectivity and inclusion in Africa and support the region’s growing digital ecosystem.

IFC played an anchor role and subscribed to 16 percent of the bond, equivalent to $100 million, which was listed on Euronext Dublin, Ireland’s main stock exchange, on February 25, 2021. The issuance raised $620 million.

Liquid Telecommunications Financing PLC, part of the leading pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, has today announced its intention to launch a bond and term loan financing package totalling a combined US$820 million equivalent to refinance the group’s existing debt and to support its growth strategy.

The funds from the new financing are intended to support Liquid Telecom as it continues to scale and expand its network capabilities, as well as its digital and technology solutions offerings across Africa. Through a combination of organic growth and acquisition, Liquid Telecom has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, stretching over 73,000km and connecting more countries on a single network than any other company.

The new financing package is also 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 service offering, across wholesale data, enterprise, wholesale voice and retail segments, and a new technology solutions segment.

Liquid Telecom has mandated Joint Bookrunners to organize a series of fixed income investor calls beginning on 22 February 2021. A US$-denominated Senior Secured Notes offering will follow subject to market conditions. The proceeds of the issuance will be used for refinancing existing debt and general corporate purposes. The proposed senior secured notes are expected to be rated in line with the corporate ratings of B1 by Moody’s, and B+ by Fitch.

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