SOUTH AFRICA – The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) has committed to buy up to US$50m of a bond issue by Liquid Telecoms, that is being launched in February 22, 2021.

The bond aims to raise US$600m, which will be used to refinance existing debt and for corporate purposes.

The issuer will be Liquid Telecommunications Financing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liquid Telecoms Holdings.

EAIF, acting through its agent Ninety One, along with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and DEG, have committed to place orders to purchase up to an aggregate US$178m in the issue.

Liquid Telecommunications has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network of over 73,000km.

The company serves  telco and digital industry customers and commercial, public sector and domestic users with a broad range of connectivity, hosting and cloud-based products, including Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure.

“Growing Africa’s digital infrastructure is a key foundation stone in recovering the continent from the global economic devastation of Covid-19”

Sumit Kanodia – Investment Director, Ninety One

“Growing Africa’s digital infrastructure is a key foundation stone in recovering the continent from the global economic devastation of Covid-19. EAIF has supported the growth of Africa’s digital and telecommunications sector since 2003,” Sumit Kanodia, Investment Director at EAIF’s manager, Ninety One, said:

“We have given support to projects including marine and terrestrial fibre optics, communications towers and satellites that have brought advanced communications to Africa and had significant economic development impact on many countries. Liquid Telecoms is a dynamic and successful business we are pleased to support,” he added.

EAIF’s support for the Liquid Telecoms bond issue is its fourth large-scale transaction in Africa’s digital and telecommunications sector in the past 12 months.

In 2020, EAIF supported bond issues by Helios Towers and Sonatel, the Senegal-based regional digital and telecommunications business.

The bond issues mobilised approximately US$800m in private capital invested in high-technology African business.

EAIF also loaned US$40m to the West Indian Ocean Cable, as part of its corporate development programme.

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