Airtel repays $450m bond ahead of 2024 maturity date


July 08 (THEWILL) – Airtel Africa Plc has settled for $450 million of senior notes, ahead of its 2024 maturity.

The Group said the early repayment was made from its cash reserves and is in line with its strategy to reduce external foreign currency debt.

This was disclosed in a notice posted on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd on Friday, July 8.

“Today confirms the settlement of the previously announced cash tender offer to repurchase up to $450 million of the $1 billion 5.35% senior secured notes due 2024 (“ Bonds”) by its subsidiary, Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV (“BAIN”),” Airtel said.

A senior note is a type of obligation that takes precedence over other debt in the event the company declares bankruptcy and is forced into liquidation, according to Investopedia.

Airtel had announced in June the initial cap for the takeover of $300 million.

It was, however, increased “on July 6, 2022, as BAIN, at its sole discretion, decided to achieve a greater debt reduction through the
use of cash resources.

“A total principal amount of $450 million of notes has been accepted for purchase for a total of $462.6 million. All bonds accepted for purchase have been canceled prior to their maturity in May 2024.”

In 2020, Airtel Africa in its financial report announced plans to sell around 4,500 telecommunications towers in five countries, including Tanzania and Madagascar, to help reduce $3.5 billion in debt. It would also help the company prepare for bond repayments.

Airtel Africa was listed on the London and Nigeria Stock Exchanges in 2019 and used the proceeds from the two public offerings to help cut borrowings to $3.5 billion from around $7.7 billion.

The telecommunications group had an $890 million refund due in May 2020, according to its financial report.

In March 2022, the company completed the early redemption of its $505 million senior secured notes.

Airtel in 2021 exited its operations in Ghana after posting consecutive losses and losing over 4 million subscribers in the country.

The Government of Ghana will acquire 100% of the shares of Airtel Ghana Limited together with all agreed customers, assets and liabilities.

Airtel reportedly financed operations in Africa, where it failed to consolidate its market through extensive borrowing.


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