The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) (www.PIDG.org) company, has committed to buy up to US$50,000,000 of a bond issue by Liquid Telecommunications, that was 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.
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.
The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (www.EAIF.com) provides a variety of debt products to infrastructure projects promoted mainly by private sector businesses in Africa and parts of the Levant. The Fund helps create the infrastructure framework that is essential to sustained economic stability, business confidence, job creation and poverty reduction. It has to date supported 75 completed infrastructure projects across nine sectors in over 20 African countries. As of the end of 2018 the Fund had invested US$20.082 billion. EAIF is part of PIDG. EAIF was established and substantially funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Sweden. It raises its debt capital from public and private sources, including Allianz, the global insurance and financial services company; Standard Chartered Bank; the African Development Bank; the German development finance institution, KFW,and FMO, the Dutch development bank. EAIF is managed by Ninety One.
About Liquid Telecom:
Liquid Telecommunications (www.LiquidTelecom.com) is a leading communications solutions provider across 13 countries primarily in Eastern, Southern and South Africa that serves mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media and content companies and retail customers with high-speed, reliable connectivity, hosting and co-location and digital services. It has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, stretching more than 73,000km.
The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) (www.PIDG.org) is an innovative infrastructure development and finance organisation which encourages and mobilises private investment in pioneering infrastructure in the frontier markets of sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia to promote economic development and combat poverty. PIDG delivers its ambition in line with its values of opportunity, accountability, safety, integrity and impact. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 157 infrastructure projects to financial close and provided 209 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by six governments (the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany) and the IFC. PIDG TA can provide technical assistance and capital grants to the PIDG companies to meet a range of needs associated with an infrastructure project’s life-cycle. PIDG TA can also provide up-front viability gap funding grants to support PIDG projects that require concessional funding to make a project with strong development impact financeable.
About Ninety One:
Ninety One (www.NinetyOne.com) is one of the largest third party investors in private equity, credit, public equity and sovereign debt across the African continent. The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) is managed by and fully integrated into Ninety One’s African investment platform. Ninety 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. The team also led EAIF’s last round of fundraising, raising US$385 million, including US$100 million from Allianz Global Investors and US$50 million from Standard Chartered, a long-standing lender to EAIF.
Ninety One is an independent, active global asset manager listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. Established in South Africa in 1991, as Investec Asset Management, the firm was a pioneer in emerging markets in Africa. In 2020, almost three decades of organic growth later, the firm de-merged from Investec Group and became Ninety One. Today, Ninety One offers distinctive, active strategies across equities, fixed income, multi-asset and alternative investments to institutions, advisors and individual investors around the world.
Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG)