Africa’s largest fibre network provider, Liquid Telecom, has raised $840 million in a bond and loans, as it seeks to refinance debt and further expand into Africa.
The financing includes a $620 million bond and $220 million in loans, making it one of the largest dollar bond sales by an African telecoms company. The International Finance Corp., which estimates the continent’s digital economy will be worth $180 billion by 2025, invested $100 million in the bond.
According to Liquid Chief Financial Officer Kate Hennessy, the fundraising was conducted by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Standard Chartered Plc and Standard Bank Group Ltd., and was 5.5 times oversubscribed. The proceeds will be used to pay existing debt and to increase access to broadband services, the company said.
Liquid Telecom, majority-owned by Econet Global Ltd., has built more than 70,000 kilometers of fiber, and operates five data centers in Kenya, South Africa, and Rwanda. According to the company, Africa’s current cloud computing capacity is three times less than that of London. It estimates that there is less than 20% of potential telecommunications enterprise demand being served in Africa.