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Bharti unveils loan terms for Zain deal

Bharti Airtel plans to raise all-dollar loan following positive response from international banks.

Bharti Airtel is believed to be close to securing a loan for its acquisition of Zain's African assets.
Bharti Airtel is believed to be close to securing a loan for its acquisition of Zain's African assets.

Bharti Airtel, which announced it was planning to buy the African assets of Zain Group for $9 billion last month, has released details of how it intends to fund the acquisition.

According to unnamed banking sources, Bharti issued a term sheet to banks outlining a plan to raise up to $8.5 billion in offshore loans, Reuters reported.

The banking sources added that the six-year offshore facility has four tranches and an average life of 4.75 years.

Bharti had earlier said it intended to raise $9 billion, including an Indian rupee tranche, although the company is believed to have dropped this idea owing to a strong response from international banks and the reduced risks associated with a an all-dollar loan, according to Reuters.

Kuwaiti daily Al Rai earlier reported that Zain and Bharti Airtel had faced no obstacles in due diligence and expected the $9bn deal to close as scheduled, by March 25.

"We are progressing with due diligence step by step and there are no obstacles so far. Each of Zain and Bharti are keen to finalise the transaction according to the preset timetable," a source close to the deal told the newspaper.