Development banks supporting Liquid’s $820m finance package

Development banks supporting Liquid’s $820m finance package

23 February 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Liquid Telecom is to raise US$820 million in a bond and term loan financing package to refinance the group’s existing debt and to support its growth strategy.

Already the London-based company, which operates fibre networks across Africa, has had significant parts of that money committed by the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), and other development banks.

Liquid said: “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.”

It added: “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.”

EAIF and its associates have committed to place orders to purchase up to a total of $178 million in the offering. EAIF said it was acting through its agent Ninety One SA, along with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and DEG-Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft.

IFC is part of the Washington-based World Bank group. DEG, based in Cologne, is a German development finance institution that is part of state-owned KfW, one of the world’s largest development banks.

Sumit Kanodia, an investment director at EAIF’s manager, Ninety One, said: “Growing Africa’s digital infrastructure is a key foundation stone in recovering the continent from the global economic devastation of Covid.”

He noted that “EAIF has supported the growth of Africa’s digital and telecommunications sector since 2003”, including supporting subsea and terrestrial fibre projects, as well as towers and satellites. Liquid Telecom “is a dynamic and successful business we are pleased to support”, he said.