Liquid Telecom, controlled by African telecommunications tycoon Strive Masiyiwa, raised US$840-million (R12.4-billion) in a bond sale to refinance debt and expand further into Africa.
The sale was conducted by joint bookrunners JPMorgan Chase & Co, Standard Chartered and Standard Bank Group, Liquid chief financial officer Kate Hennessy said on Thursday by e-mail. The amount raised includes a $100-million investment by the International Finance Corp.
The offering was 5.5 times oversubscribed, Hennessy said.
“The level of interest from high-quality investors has been unprecedented for an African issuer and reflects an excess of 220 investor orders,” she said. “The order book shows the confidence that investors have in the future growth strategy for the group.”
Liquid has installed more than 70 000km of fibre across Africa. It operates five data centres in South Africa, Kenya and Rwanda. Demand for higher-speed Internet connections and data storage is increasing on the continent as hundreds of millions of people start connecting to the Internet, mostly using their mobile phones.
The bond was listed on the Euronext Dublin exchange on Thursday, according to the IFC. The proceeds will be used to pay existing debt and to increase access to broadband services, the company said. — Reported by Loni Prinsloo and Bella Genga, (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP