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Airtel Africa settles $450 million of senior debt due in 2024

Airtel Africa disclosed Friday it has settled nearly half of its $1 billion guaranteed senior notes set for maturity in May 2024, barely a fortnight after it made a call for redemption to investors.

The bond had been priced at 5.35 per cent originally at issue, according to a statement seen by PREMIUM TIMES.

But Indian-based Bharti Airtel Limited, the parent company of the telecommunications powerhouse, is executing plans to cut down its debt at group level, part of which is the decision to terminate $450 million of the value of the bond early.

Cash for defraying the debt came from the group’s coffers.

When in June Airtel Africa first announced the move through its Netherlands operation called BAIN, it lined up a cash tender offer of $300 million for holders interested in parting with the instrument, a sum that would later rise by 50 per cent.

Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Africa’s chief executive

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Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Africa’s chief executive

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Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Africa’s chief executive

“The original cap on the redemption of $300m, as mentioned in the release of 22 June, was increased on 6 July 2022 as BAIN, in its sole discretion, decided to achieve a larger debt reduction through the use of cash resources,” said Airtel in the document posted on the Nigerian Exchange website.

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The $450 million is the total principle sum considered for the transaction, which altogether has repaid $462.6 million to bondholders that submitted bids, including accrued interest and compensation for redeeming that portion of the debt ahead of time.

Airtel Africa affirmed in a previous disclosure “there is an early tender deadline of 5 July 2022 for noteholders wishing to tender their notes for preferential early tender consideration, otherwise the tender offer will expire on 19 July 2022, unless amended or extended by BAIN at its sole discretion.”

Shares in Airtel closed at N1,732.20 per unit on Custom Street in Lagos on Friday, recording no movement. The stock has been in the stagnant position since the start of July.

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Jerry is a copy writer at African Alert [AFAL]. Aside from general news, Jerry is an experienced creator and web content expert who loves to spend his time telling African-centric stories, most times, in text.

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