Bharti Draws Funds for Completion of Zain Deal

Bharti Draws Funds for Completion of Zain Deal

For completion of its $9-billion buy of Kuwaiti telecom Zain’s African assets, India’s largest Telco, Bharti Airtel has started drawing down funds from lenders.

Bharti Airtel, at present is in the course of getting sanction from each of the 15 African nations where Zain operates in the continent.

The Company spokesman said that it expects to close the deal to acquire Zain Telecom’s African business soon. “The approval process is progressing well and we expect the deal closure to happen soon”, the Bharti Airtel spokesman said responding to a query from ET. Bharti Airtel shares closed at Rs 260.6, down 1.3% at Bombay Stock Exchange.

Amsterdam, the base of Zain’s African unit was the place where the $10.7-billion deal, including $1.7 billion of Zain’s debt, was signed on March 30.

With Zain Africa’s 42 million customers, Bharti Airtel will have over 180 million subscribers, making it the world’s fifth-largest mobile phone operator.

Bharti Airtel had announced that it had finalized $8.5 billion of funding for its acquisition of the African assets of Zain, Just days before singing the deal with Zain.

The Company said that consortium of banks led by Standard Chartered and Barclays would lend it $7.5 billion and State Bank of India will bring in another $1 billion, the latter a so-called rupee loan.

The deal will give Bharti Airtel a firm foothold in the relatively untapped African market and the combine will have revenues of $13 billion and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of around $5 billion.

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