Bharti ties up $8.3 billion for Zain Africa deal

(REUTERS)

Top Indian telecom firm Bharti Airtel said on Sunday it had tied up the entire financing requirement of $8.3 billion (Dh30.48bn) for its planned acquisition of Kuwaiti firm Zain's African assets.

The financing was oversubscribed, with major international banks committing to underwrite the total amount, Bharti said in a statement.

The Indian firm and Zain are in exclusive talks until March 25, marking the third time Bharti has tried to get its hands on a meaningful African business after two failed bids for South Africa's MTN.

Bharti would pay a total $9bn for acquiring Zain's assets in 15 African countries, and will also assume $1.7bn of debt on the target firm's books. Of the $9bn purchase price, $700 million would be paid to Zain one year after closing the deal, the companies have said.

For $7.5bn of the financing, the lead advisor was Standard Chartered Bank, while Barclays acted as the joint lead advisor, Bharti said.

Other banks participating in the deal include top Indian lender State Bank of India (SBI), ANZ, BNP, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Agricole CIB, DBS, HSBC, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

In addition to the dollar financing, SBI has committed upto $1 billion equivalent rupee loans to Bharti which would also cover any associated transaction costs, the Indian telecom firm said.

Bharti's board on Saturday met to discuss the $9bn offer for Zain's African assets.

 

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