CELTEL BURKINA FASO RAISES USD5.25 MILLION THROUGH PUBLIC BOND

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Celtel Burkina Faso, MSI Cellular’s operator in West Africa, has become the first independent cellular operator in the region to raise money through a public bond, with the issue of a CFA 3 billion (US$5.25 million) bond. The offer opened to local and international institutional and private investors on 12th August and closed within four days due to oversubscription, despite having been scheduled to last a month.

About half of the funds were raised within Burkina Faso and the other half in the ECOWAS region. The term of the bond is six years with capital repayments starting after the first three years. It was issued at an interest rate of 7.15% and is guaranteed by Fonds de Solidarité Africain (FSA).

Celtel Burking Faso Managing Director, Raymond Laforce, said: "This is a substantial bond issue for the region. Its success demonstrates the confidence that investors have in Celtel Burkina Faso and the quality of our network and operations in Burkina Faso. The funds raised will be used to extend our network coverage and launch new services."

"This introduces Celtel to a pool of long term investors, allowing us to extend the tenor of our financing and match cash flows whilst simultaneously reducing financing costs."

The bond will trade on the regional bond market (BRVM) based in Abidjan within three months of issue. Celtel Burkina Faso is the first private cellular operator in West Africa and only the second private company in Burkina Faso to issue a public bond.

The issue was arranged by Société Burkinabé d’Intermédiation Financiére ("SBIF"). SBIF Managing Director, Alexis Lourgo, commented: "Celtel has all the right attributes for a public bond issue; a solid financial base, good future prospects and professional management. It took only four days for the issue to become over-subscribed, which is testimony to the high rating which investors attribute to long term credit in Celtel."

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