Liquid Telecom seeking funds for African expansion

22 Jun 2017

Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, which finalised the ZAR6.5 billion (USD484 million) acquisition of South African SNO Neotel from India’s Tata Communications in February 2017, is raising USD700 million in long-term debt – by issuing a USD600 million five-year bond and taking a new USD100 million bank loan – as it plans further investment in network infrastructure in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent, TechCentral writes. The company generated revenues of USD594.6 million (and gross profit of USD359.6 million) in the twelve months ended 28 February 2017, with CEO Nic Rudnick saying: ‘We have reached the point where we are very comfortable putting some long-term debt out into the market and removing any short-term debt that we have, and giving us some funds for expansion.’ The executive added that there were no immediate plans to seek a listing for Liquid Telecom: ‘The current objective is to refinance the group’s debt and provide funds for further expansion. The bond enables us to do that effectively, and that is currently the focus. However, we will continue to evaluate what the best sources of capital are, and we will make decisions accordingly.’