India's Bharti raises $9b loan for Zain Africa

India’s Bharti Airtel has lined up $9 billion in loans from foreign and local banks for its planned acquisition of the African assets of Kuwait’s Zain, the Economic Times reported on Monday.

The newspaper cited three people familiar with the matter as saying nearly a dozen banks — mostly foreign — had come forward to commit the amount in long-term loans, compared with earlier plans of taking short-term or bridge loans.

Standard Chartered is leading the consortium of banks and has alone committed $5.5 billion, the paper said. The pricing for the 7-year loan could be close to 300 basis points over the London inter-bank offered rate, it said.

Barclays has also committed close to $5 billion to the company, the paper said.

Sources had earlier told Reuters Standard Chartered and Barclays were advising Bharti on the deal and also on the funding and that Standard Chartered was looking to lead roughly $5 billion loan for Bharti.

The Economic Times said about $2-$3 billion could be rupee loans from a couple of Indian banks keen on being part of a syndicate of banks.

Foreign banks including ANZ, BNP Paribas, Citi, DBS, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and JPMorgan were likely to be part of the overseas syndication, it said.

Among Indian banks, the State Bank of India and Kotak Mahindra Bank, besides some state owned banks, also want to partner in this deal, it said.

Source: Reuters

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