CDC Group announces a commitment of US$30m in favour of Axian Telecom in Africa

AFRICA – CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, has announced its anchor commitment of US$30 million to AXIAN Telecom’s inaugural 5-year US$420 million public bond offering.

The company is a fast-growing provider of telecoms services and infrastructure in Madagascar, Togo, Tanzania, Senegal, Comoros, Mayotte, Reunion and Uganda.

It operates across three key business segments, providing mobile network services as well as digital infrastructure and mobile financial services.

AXIAN Telecom serves around 33 million mobile customers via its subsidiaries and is a market disruptor, having expanded from being a single market player (Madagascar) until 2015 to eight markets today, through active acquisitions and heavy network investments.

The provision of new financing will allow AXIAN Telecom to expand its footprint through increasing access to affordable mobile and data services by improving digital access and thus pursuing its strategy of inclusion in the telecom value chain for customers, extending access in rural regions and lower-income demographics.

“Affordable mobile and data services is a vital component of any economy and investments in under-developed telecom markets is therefore at the core of CDC’s strategy in Africa,” Richard Palmer, Head of Corporate Debt, at CDC, which will be renamed British International Investment in April, said.

“Our commitment to this bond financing supports the mobilisation of private capital from institutions that are less familiar with AXIAN Telecom’s markets.”

The expansion of AXIAN Telecom into under-serviced markets should disrupt monopolistic pricing policies and dated product offerings and improve vital digital infrastructure such as fibre optic cables, towers and subsea cables.

“This bond financing will greatly support AXIAN Telecom in reaching millions of people whose prospects can be transformed by access to the services that a mobile phone can provide,” Hassanein Hiridjee, Chairman and Founder of AXIAN Telecom, said.

“This will take us through our next growth phase, and we are grateful for the support that CDC and other DFIs have provided in anchoring this transaction.”

CDC will formally become British International Investment plc (BII) on 4 April 2022. British International Investment is the UK Government’s development finance institution and a key part of the government’s wider plans to mobilise up to £8 billion (US$10.85bn) a year of public and private sector investment in international projects by 2025.

BII, under its new five-year strategy will expand its geographical mandate to include Southeast Asian countries and the Caribbean.

BII will invest between £1.5 (US$2.04m) and £2 billion (US$2.71m) per annum between 2022 and 2026 to support the UK government’s Clean Green Initiative and to create productive, sustainable and inclusive economies in Africa, parts of Asia and the Caribbean.

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