Zain seeking new loan as USD867m facility nears maturity

22 Jan 2014

Kuwaiti telecoms giant Zain Group is reportedly seeking proposals from banks for a loan for ‘general business purposes’, although banking sources claim that the financing is likely to replace an existing USD867 million debt facility which is due to mature in March 2014. According to Reuters, unnamed sources familiar with the matter have disclosed that the telecoms firm has invited lenders to share their views on the likely interest rates involved with such a loan; Zain is seeking to arrange a revolving credit facility, with a five-year maturity and amortising structure, under which the borrower pays back both interest and principal during the lifetime of the loan. Further, the new loan will be self-arranged by Zain and is expected to be finalised before the end of the first quarter of 2014, the sources said. However, the precise figure Zain Group is looking to raise has not been disclosed.

A spokesperson for the company said: ‘Zain is often discussing potential new loans to finance possible expansion opportunity purposes and general corporate needs, as well as trying to refinance existing loans at better rates and conditions for the group and its operations. Our debt-to-EBITDA ratio of well below 1x is low in comparison to industry standards and thus Zain is always active in seeking and considering new financing opportunities.’

Kuwait, Zain Group