Liquid Telecom raises US$840m in bond issue

SOUTH AFRICAAfrica’s leading data, voice and IP provider Liquid Telecom has raised US$840 million in a bond sale to refinance debt and further expansion into Africa.

The sale was conducted by joint bookrunners JPMorgan Chase & Co, Standard Chartered and Standard Bank Group, Liquid chief financial officer Kate Hennessy told TechCentral.

The amount raised included a US$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.”

“The proceeds will be used to pay existing debt and to increase access to broadband services”

Liquid has installed more than 70,000km of fibre across Africa and 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 February 25, according to the IFC. The proceeds will be used to pay existing debt and to increase access to broadband services, the company said. 

In October 2020, Liquid Telecom raised US$307 million through a rights issue to fund a rapid expansion of its data centre business across Africa.

The rights issue included an additional US$40-million from UK development finance institution CDC Group.

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