MTN in $3 billion loan deal

MTN Group is set to sign a $3 billion loan facility with a consortium of banks on Tuesday (23 April).

The telecom operator said in an invitation to the signing that the medium-term facility will be signed on Tuesday.

According to Nigeria’s National Mirror, the loan facility is meant for the entire group, which covers 22 countries in the MEA region. However, the group’s Nigerian operation will receive about half ($1.5 billion) of the total loan in order to expand its network infrastructures in the country.

The Mirror said that South Africa was set to receive an allocation of R5 billion.

However, MTN Nigeria said that the syndication and the entire amount is meant for MTN Nigeria only, and will fund the group’s 2013-15 business plan.

MTN boss Sifiso Dabengwa recently told Reuters that the group could spend up to $8 billion on an acquisition and is looking for targets on the continent, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

“Growth through M&A is still an important part of our strategy,” he said. “Anything between $4 and $8 billion is something that we could look at.”

MTN is currently one of 12 groups shortlisted for two telecoms licences for Myanmar and has also been linked with a 53% stake in Maroc Telecom, currently held by France-based Vivendi S.A, although the group declined to comment on speculation.

The group is believed to be in talks with several banks to raise funding for the deal, valued at $6 billion, according to UK based news provider TMT Finance, who cited three sources.

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MTN in $3 billion loan deal