Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) says it has entered into a refinance agreement with a syndicate of lenders to provide R3.5 billion of corporate debt facilities.
“Demand for fibre to the business (FTTB) has been steadily increasing and funding institutions have recognised this,” said Thinus Mulder, CFO at DFA.
In March, the DFA, which constructs and owns fibre-optic networks, reported a 35% rise in revenue for the six months ending September 2013, to R409 million.
“We are pleased to be receiving this refinancing from a syndicate of lenders made up of existing and new funders,” Mulder said.
“The funds will be used to replace our project finance funding and invest in new infrastructure in order to meet the growing demand for fibre infrastructure across South Africa.”
The refinancing consists of R1 billion of general banking facilities and revolving credit facilities, together with a series of three-, four-, five- and six-year term loans amounting to R2.2 billion, provided by a syndicate of lenders.
The syndicate of lenders includes banks, financial institutions and development funding agencies, namely:
- Absa Bank (Barclays Africa);
- Development Bank of South Africa;
- Rand Merchant Bank;
- Futuregrowth Asset Management;
- Investec Asset Management;
- the KZN Growth Fund, Liberty Group; and
- Stanlib Asset Management.
“DFA, which was established in 2007, has grown considerably over the years and has now outgrown its project finance facilities,” said Mulder.
“The refinancing will enable DFA to achieve its main goals of diversifying our providers of debt funding, allow for greater financial flexibility and substantially reduce our financing costs.”