Clyde & Co advises on US$362m telecoms financing deal

Clyde & Co has advised telecoms company Econet Wireless Global Limited on securing a US$362million financing for its operations in Zimbabwe and Burundi.

The multi-creditor financing deal will be used to refinance short-term debt and to upgrade the telecommunications network infrastructure of Econet's operating subsidiaries in Zimbabwe and Burundi, through the importation and commissioning of GSM network equipment from ZTE Corporation China and Ericsson Sweden.

The Clyde & Co team comprised lawyers from its London and Dar es Salaam offices, led by partner Peter Gray supported by legal director Peter Kasanda and associates Teresa Hettich and Sabrina Ayub.

Peter said: "We are delighted to have been involved in this ground breaking deal for Econet. Closing this complex secured financing for these two jurisdictions is a credit to Econet and the financial institutions involved, as well as being further evidence of Clyde & Co's sub-Saharan financing capabilities."

The complex deal included a five-year syndicated facility arranged by Afreximbank, co-arranged by the German development bank DEG and with additional participations by FMO of the Netherlands and Proparco of France.

The financing also comprised bilateral deals between Econet and each of China Development Bank Corporation (CDB), Ericsson Credit, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) and The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank), with maturities ranging from three to five years.

The deal was completed in London on 23 May at a signing attended by the company's founder, Mr Strive Masiywa.

Barclays Bank Zimbabwe, Ecobank Burundi and TN Bank Zimbabwe are agent banks under the facility.

Hogan Lovells acted for the Afrexim syndicate and White & Case for CDB.