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Airtel Africa signs $500m loan facility with banks to refinance Eurobond

April 21
17:15 2021

Airtel Africa says it has successfully signed a new $500 million loan facility with a group of relationship banks to partially refinance the telecom group’s €750 million Euro-denominated bond.

This was announced in a statement signed by Simon O’Hara, Airtel Group company secretary, on Wednesday.

The banks which participated in the facility include Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Citibank, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Standard Chartered Bank and two Indian relationship banks — Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The telecom giant said: “The new committed facility consists of a combination of a revolving credit facility and term loans with tenor of up to 4 years.

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“The facility will be used to partially refinance the Group’s €750m Euro denominated bond (c.$880m) due 20 May 2021.

“The balance of the Euro denominated bond will be repaid with existing Group cash to reduce gross debt and associated interest costs.

“The new loan facility further strengthens the core liquidity of the Group.

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“It also has prepayment flexibilities that will allow the Group to optimise the efficiency of its capital structure with the free cash flows and cash receipts anticipated over the next 12 months following the recent announcements related to tower sales and mobile money minority investments.”

In March 2021, Airtel Africa said it will sell 1,424 of its telecommunications tower companies in Madagascar and Malawi to Helios Towers for $119 million.

In the same month, the telecom company said Rise Fund, the global impact investing platform of investment firm TPG, will invest $200 million in its mobile money arm — Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV).

Earlier this month, Mastercard announced that it will invest $100 million in AMC BV, valuing the business at $2.65 billion.

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