Safaricom picks advisors for bond

May 21, 2009

, NAIROBI, Kenya May 21 – Mobile phone service provider Safaricom has picked Barclays Capital, Absa Bank and CFC Stanbic as lead arrangers for their upcoming public bond, the company said on Thursday.

Pending approvals from the regulators, Safaricom is hoping to raise between Sh5 billion and Sh12 billion from the debt capital markets in the second half of 2009 which, on successful completion, will bring the company’s total funding from the Kenyan debt market to Sh20 billion.

The establishment of the note programme will also provide the company with flexibility to access the capital markets as and when the market conditions are favourable with the company’s funding plans.

“This is just a case of being prepared so that when we need the money we will be able to access it,” Chief Financial Officer Chris Tiffin told reporters while releasing the company’s end year results.

This will be Safaricom’s second public bond issuance since 2001, and its third capital markets offering.

Meanwhile, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said the company was mulling measures to boost its share price at the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

“Most of the shares are controlled by the international investors and so prices depend on what this kind of investor is willing to pay. Les (Baillie, the Chief Investor Relations Officer) and I will be spending the next three weeks traveling around the world persuading investors that this is a great company, and the current share price is not a true indication of the value,” Mr Joseph said.

Currently the share is trading in the bourse at between Sh2.95 and Sh3.055, down from its entry price of Sh5 during the Initial Public Offer.

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