Bharti sounds its bankers for funds for Zain buy | business | Hindustan Times
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Bharti sounds its bankers for funds for Zain buy

Airtel, on Friday, said it has sounded its bankers for funds to pay for the acquisition of Zain's African operations, bringing it closer to concluding the USD 10.7 billion deal.

business Updated: May 28, 2010 14:15 IST

Airtel, on Friday, said it has sounded its bankers for funds to pay for the acquisition of Zain's African operations, bringing it closer to concluding the USD 10.7 billion deal.

"Further to our announcement on March 30, 2010 regarding the proposed acquisition of Zain Africa BV, Bharti Airtel Limited is pleased to report that it has initiated the funds drawdown for the completion of the said transaction," Bharti
said in a statement.

In March, Bharti Airtel tied up USD 8.3 billion from a clutch of foreign banks and State Bank of India to fund the acquisition of Zain telecom's African assets. On completion, Bharti would be required to pay another USD 700 million to the seller after a year, while taking a load of USD 1.7 billion debt associated with the African assets.

A company official said Bharti is asking its bankers to be ready for the funds transfer as and when the acquisition takes place. The lead-arrangers are Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays, SBI Group, ANZ, BNP, Bank of America-Merril Lynch, Credit gricole CIB, DBF, HSBC, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

Bharti's lead-arranger and lead-advisor Standard Chartered Bank has committed the highest amount of USD 1.3 billion, followed by USD 0.9 billion by Barclays. A Bharti Airtel spokesperson had earlier said the
approval process is progressing well and the company expects the deal closure to happen soon.

Bharti Airtel is in the process for getting approvals for its acquisition, which it announced in February.