Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vodacom Seeks US$150 to Fund Tanzania Expansion

Vodacom Tanzania, an arm of leading South African mobile operator Vodacom, has secured a $90 million syndicated loan from local banks, in a five-year deal expected to raise $150 million, the company said.

Telecoms is one the country's most vibrant industries, growing 20.5 percent last year compared with 20.1 percent a year before.

"This funding is critical to our growth plans and will go a long way in facilitating better service for the consumer," Vodacom Tanzania Managing Director Dietlof Mare said in a statement seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Vodacom did not give more details of what the money will be used for.

"The initial $90 million multi-currency financing has been completely sourced through local banks along with Citibank Tanzania Limited," the statement said, adding that the bank would be responsible for raising the remaining $60 million overseas.

As at end-March, Vodacom had just over 5.67 million subscribers out of the country's total 13.88 million mobile users, up from just over 5.4 million customers at last year's close.

The east African nation of 40 million had 13 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of 2008.

Eight other local banks were involved in raising the local part of the loan.



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