Bharti issues terms for $8.5-bn Zain loan | business | Hindustan Times
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Bharti issues terms for $8.5-bn Zain loan

business Updated: Mar 16, 2010 21:29 IST
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Bharti Airtel, in talks to buy the African mobile operations of Kuwait's Zain for $9 billion, on Tuesday issued a term sheet to banks to raise up to $8.5 billion in offshore loans to fund the deal.

The six-year offshore facility has four tranches and carries a blended average life of 4.75 years, with a margin ranging from 176 basis points to 179 bps over Libor, the report said.

Barclays Capital, Citigroup, Standard Chartered Bank and State Bank of India are expected to underwrite larger amounts than other banks, sources said.

Zain and Bharti have faced no obstacles in due diligence and expect the $9 billion deal to close on time, a Kuwaiti newspaper had reported on Tuesday.

Daily al-Rai, quoting unnamed sources familiar with the deal, said both firms were keen on closing the sale of Zain’s African assets to Bharti on March 25 as scheduled.

“We are progressing with due diligence step by step and there are no obstacles so far. Each of Zain and Bharti are keen to finalize the transaction according to the preset timetable,” according to a person quoted by the newspaper.

The paper said due diligence had been done on the majority of Zain's African assets in major countries and only procedural steps, which are unlikely to change the final report, remain.

The newspaper quoted sources as saying Bharti, India's largest telecoms firm, is expected to name the final bank consortium on the deal.

Bharti's exclusive talks with Zain run until March 25, and follow two failed attempts by the Indian firm to tie-up with South Africa's MTN, Africa's biggest telecoms firm.

Bharti is looking at a mix of dollar and rupee funding to finance the Zain deal, sources had said last month.