By Kayode Tokede
Airtel Africa Plc has signed a new $500 million loan facility with a group of relationship banks to partially refinance the Group’s €750million Euro-denominated bond (c.$880million) due 20 May 2021.
The banks are Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Citibank, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Standard Chartered Bank and two Indian relationship banks, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.
This was disclosed by the Telco via a statement signed by its Group Company Secretary, Simon O’Hara on Wednesday.
It stated, “The new committed facility consists of a combination of a revolving credit facility and term loans with tenor of up to 4 years. The facility will be used to partially refinance the Group’s €750m Euro-denominated bond (c.$880million) 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.”
The Group Company Secretary explained that the Telco 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.