MTN Group Said to Seek $1 Billion Credit Line to Refinance Debt

MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s biggest wireless operator, is seeking a $1 billion revolving credit facility to refinance a loan maturing in April, according to three people with knowledge of the financing.

MTN hired Barclays Plc to arrange the debt that will replace a $1.35 billion credit line obtained in 2011, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the terms are private. The five-year deal is currently being marketed to a wider group of lenders.

African borrowers raised $35 billion of syndicated loans last year, 17 percent more than in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. MTN Nigerian Communication Ltd., a unit of MTN Group, said it got a $3 billion loan last April to refinance debt and upgrade infrastructure in Africa’s most populous country.

Officials at Johannesburg-based MTN didn’t reply to a telephone call and an e-mail seeking comment on the debt. Barclays spokesman Jon Laycock also didn’t respond to a call and an e-mail enquiring about the bank’s appointment.

MTN agreed to pay a margin of 110 basis points, or 1.1 percentage point, more than the London interbank offered rate on its existing loan, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A revolving credit facility is a type of debt where money repaid can be borrowed again, and often remains undrawn.

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