Liquid bags $300m loan for Neotel purchase

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

Extra funds will be used to expand services in Botswana and Tanzania and to fund $429m buyout of Neotel

Liquid Telecom has secured a loan of around $300 million to drive its expansion in Africa, including its acquisition of Neotel.

Earlier this year, Liquid and Royal Bakofen Holdings agreed a $429 million deal to buy the South African operator from India’s Tata Communications.

To help fund the deal, Econet Wireless unit Liquid has agreed to a loan arranged by Standard Bank. The funds will also be used to drive expansion in Botswana and Tanzania, according to Liquid CEO Nic Rudnick an interview with Bloomberg.

“The purpose of the additional funding would be to allow the group to expand,” Rudnick said. “Our strategy is to roll out fibre continuously and to bolster that with sensible acquisitions.”

Liquid recently announced plans to launch a new joint venture with Botswana Power Corporation which will see the creation of a new telecoms provider in Botswana.

The JV, called Liquid Telecom Botswana, will see BPC lease excess fibre lines from its network to Liquid Telecom.