Liquid Telecom Ltd., majority owned by African telecoms tycoon Strive Masiyiwa, raised $840 million in a bond and loans to refinance debt and expand further into Africa.
The fundraising was conducted by joint book-runners JPMorgan Chase & Co., Standard Chartered Plc and Standard Bank Group Ltd., Liquid Chief Financial Officer Kate Hennessy said Thursday by email. The offering was 5.5 times oversubscribed, she said.
“The level of interest from high quality investors has been unprecedented for an African issuer and reflects an excess of 220 investor orders,” Hennessy said.
“The order book shows the confidence that investors have in the future growth strategy for the group.”
The financing includes a $620 million bond and $220 million in loans, making it one of the largest dollar bond sales by an African telecoms company.
The International Finance Corp., which estimates the continent’s digital economy will be worth $180 billion by 2025, invested $100 million in the bond.
Liquid has installed more than 70,000 kilometers (43,500 miles) of fiber across Africa. It operates five data centers in South Africa, Kenya and Rwanda.
Demand for higher-speed internet links and data storage is increasing on the continent as hundreds of millions of people get connected, mostly using their mobile phones.
The bond was listed on the Euronext Dublin exchange on Thursday, according to the IFC. The proceeds will be used to pay existing debt and to increase access to broadband services, the company said.