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Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund commits to buy up to US$50 million of bond issue by Liquid Telecommunications

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…Liquid Telecommunications bond offering is 4th recent digital and telecommunications financing by PIDG company Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund

“Growing Africa’s digital infrastructure is a key foundation stone in recovering the continent from the global economic devastation of Covid,” says EAIF Investment Director

MON 22 FEB, 2021-theGBJournal- The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company, has committed to buy up to US$50,000,000 of a bond issue by Liquid Telecommunications, that is being launched on Monday 22rd February 2020.

The bond (The New Note Offering) aims to raise US$600 million which will be used to refinance existing debt and for corporate purposes. The issuer will be Liquid Telecommunications Financing plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liquid Telecommunications Holdings Limited.

EAIF, acting through its agent Ninety One SA (Pty) Ltd, along with The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and DEG-Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG), have committed to place orders to purchase up to an aggregate US$178mm in the New Note Offering.

Ninety One is one of the largest third party investors in private equity, credit, public equity and sovereign debt across the African continent. One manages the entire process on behalf of the EAIF. It markets the Fund, seeks projects, evaluates loan applications, including due diligence, manages transaction administration and monitors the loan portfolio. Since May 2016, when it was awarded the management mandate, Ninety One and its EAIF team have closed over 20 infrastructure transactions with a capital value of USD 650m.

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.

Sumit Kanodia, an Investment Director at EAIF’s manager, Ninety One, says, “Growing Africa’s digital infrastructure is a key foundation stone in recovering the continent from the global economic devastation of Covid. EAIF has supported the growth of Africa’s digital and telecommunications sector since 2003. 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 Telecommunications is a dynamic and successful business we are pleased to support.”

EAIF’s support for the Liquid Telecommunications 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 plc and Sonatel, the Senegal-based regional digital and telecommunications business. The bond issues mobilised c$800 million in private capital invested in high-technology African business. EAIF also loaned US$40 million to the West Indian Ocean Cable Co (WIOCC), as part of WIOCC’s corporate development programme.

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