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Gemcorp leads $105m debt deal for Africell

Staff writer
June 15, 2021, 6:14 p.m.

Word count: 416

Gemcorp Capital has led a $105m financing for Africell, a fast-growing pan-African mobile network operator.

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Gemcorp Capital has led a $105m financing for Africell, a fast-growing pan-African mobile network operator.

Atanas Bostandjiev, CEO of Gemcorp, said: “Gemcorp is pleased to have delivered this important financing for Africell at this pivotal moment in the company’s story. This is our third financing for Africell and will allow the company to continue to grow its existing operations and support its expansion into Angola.”

“Supporting growth champions within the African telecoms space is core to our direct lending strategy and so we are delighted to serve as a financing partner for Africell together with the other members of the syndicate.”

The syndicate also includes Gramercy Funds Management, TC Credit Partners and funds advised by Helios Investment Partners.

This direct lending transaction will deliver flexible firepower to support the company’s growth across both existing and new markets.

The move validates Africell’s long-term expansion strategy in Africa and gives the Group the financial strength required to maintain its growth across the continent.

Africell provides fast, low-cost and reliable mobile network coverage and related technology services to over 12 million subscribers in four African countries (Sierra Leone, The Gambia, DR Congo and Uganda).

In May 2021, Africell amended and restated a $100m investment from the US Government’s Development Finance Corporation (DFC) which was first signed in May 2019.

Together, the commercial loan facility and the DFC facility support Africell’s growth plans across Africa, including refinancing existing facilities, financing its expansion in its current operating markets, and supporting its forthcoming launch in Angola.

Ziad Dalloul, Africell’s Chairman and CEO, said: “The commercial loan agreement represents a renewed long-term commitment between us and a group of outstanding strategic financing partners. The syndicate is composed of world-class financial institutions with an impressive history of investing in emerging markets. Some are existing lenders to Africell and others are backing us for the first time, which testifies to the investment opportunity Africell represents.”

“The commercial loan facility gives Africell Group the flexibility and firepower we need to achieve our commercial objectives in Africa, and we are excited to continue to pursue growth both in our existing markets and in Angola.”

In February 2021, Africell won an international public tender process for a universal electronic communications license in Angola in a historic move driven by the Angolan government’s desire to reform and accelerate Angola’s economy.

Africell’s expansion into Angola is a transformational opportunity for the Group, for the Angolan telecoms sector, and for Angolan consumers who stand to benefit from more competition and innovation.

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