SANDTON, Gauteng – 2 July 2014 – Dark Fibre Africa (RF) Pty Ltd (“DFA”) has recently announced that it has entered into a refinance agreement with a syndicate of lenders to provide R3.5 billion of corporate debt facilities.
“We are pleased to be receiving this refinancing from a syndicate of lenders made up of existing and new funders,” said Thinus Mulder, Chief Financial Officer at DFA. “The funds will be used to replace our project finance funding and invest in new infrastructure in order to meet the growing demand for fibre infrastructure across South Africa.”
The refinancing consists of R1 billion of general banking facilities and revolving credit facilities, together with a series of three-, four-, five- and six-year term loans amounting to R2.2 billion provided by a syndicate of lenders.
The syndicate of lenders includes banks, financial institutions and development funding agencies, namely ABSA Bank, Development Bank of South Africa, Rand Merchant Bank, Futuregrowth Asset Management, Investec Asset Management, the KZN Growth Fund, Liberty Group and Stanlib Asset Management.
“DFA, which was established in 2007, has grown considerably over the years and has now outgrown its project finance facilities,” added Mulder. “The refinancing will enable DFA to achieve its main goals of diversifying our providers of debt funding, allow for greater financial flexibility and substantially reduce our financing costs.”
“Demand for fibre to the business (FTTB) has been steadily increasing and funding institutions have recognised this. On the back of this, DFA received an overwhelming response by new funders that recognise our proven track record, successful business model and see value in providing funding to a company that is driving business success across the country,” concluded Mulder.
DFA is the premier wholesale, open-access fibre-infrastructure and -connectivity provider in South Africa. We finance, build, install, manage, and maintain a world-class fibre network to transmit metro and long-haul telecommunications traffic. We started rolling out our fibre network in 2007, and to date, we have deployed over 13,000 km of ducting infrastructure in major metros, secondary cities, and smaller towns. Our network runs with an industry-leading uptime of 99.98%. We lease our secure transmission and backbone fibre infrastructure and provide associated connectivity services to telecommunications operators, Internet service providers, media conglomerates, tertiary education institutions, municipalities, government organizations, and other businesses, large and small, on equal terms. DFA is a Level 3 B-BBEE Contributor on the ICT Sector Codes.