Liquid raises US$840m in bond sale

Liquid Telecom Ltd., majority owned by African telecoms tycoon Strive Masiyiwa, raised US$840 million in a bond sale to refinance debt and expand further into Africa.

The sale was conducted by joint book-runners JPMorgan Chase & Co., Standard Chartered Plc and Standard Bank Group Ltd., Liquid Chief Financial Officer Kate Hennessy said on Thursday by email.

The amount raised includes a $100 million investment by the International Finance Corp.

The offering was 5m5 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 70 000 kilometres 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. — Bloomberg.

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