LONDON Dec 4 Bahrain Telecommunications
is close to agreeing a $650 million loan that will
allow it to buy Cable & Wireless Communications assets
in Monaco and elsewhere.
Peter Kaliaropoulos, Batelco's chief executive for strategic
assignments, told Thomson Reuters LPC on Tuesday it was seeking
a bridge loan for up to 12 months which will be replaced by a
On Monday, Batelco agreed to by CWC assets in a two-stage
deal worth up to $1 billion..
The loan with Citigroup and BNP Paribas will
fund the first stage of the acquisition, which totals $680
million and will see state-controlled Batelco buy CWC's Monaco
and Islands division.
The assets being acquired own stakes in telecom operators in
12 markets including the Channel Islands, the Maldives, and the
Seychelles, providing fixed-line, mobile, broadband and
Batelco will buy a 25 percent shareholding in Compagnie
Monagesque de Communications (CMC), which holds CWC's 55 percent
interest in Monaco Telecom. Monaco Telecom in turn holds a 36.8
percent stake in Roshan, a mobile phone operator in Afghanistan.
The second stage of the acquisition will allow Batelco to
buy a controlling interest in CWC's remaining 75 percent stake
in CMC for $345 million.
Kaliaropoulos said Batelco will decide how to finance the
second stage of the acquisition within the next 12 months.
Acquisition-related syndicated loan volumes for borrowers in
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have plunged to an
eight-year low in 2012, at $354 million, according to Thomson
Reuters LPC data.
This marks less than half the $850 million raised in 2011
and a sharp drop from the $24.4 billion raised during the peak