LAP GreenN Plans to Borrow $150 Million by Year End, CEO Says

LAP GreenN, a telecommunication services company owned by the Libyan Investment Authority, will seek to borrow $150 million to repay debt, Chief Executive Officer Wafik Shater said.

“We’re looking to go to market in November, December of this year,” Shater said in an interview at his office in Dubai yesterday. “What we are doing is complementary financing whereby we can get money to pay for some of the old debt. We may look at issuing a bond, we may look at just getting” loans.

LAP GreenN owns telecom operators in Ivory Coast, South Sudan, Uganda and Sierra Leone, and its operations were hurt by UN-imposed sanctions on Libyan companies following an uprising against former leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, Shater said. The company has since been restructured, he said.

“In 2013, as a group we have registered an operating profit,” Shater said. “It’s not hard cash but the numbers show that we are profitable, which is a first time for the whole group.”

LAP GreenN is a unit of the LIA’s Libya Africa Investment Portfolio, a $5 billion fund dedicated to investing in the continent, according to Shater. The government of the North African nation made an investment of $1 billion to create the company in 2007, he said.

LAP GreenN’s ability to expand is being hindered by political and security circumstances in Libya, according to Shater. The company has relied on the Libya Africa Portfolio to cover its costs, he said.

“We have access to funding from LAP when it’s absolutely necessary,” he said. “Going out and spending money on expansion is not something wise to do at the moment.”