Paratus Group has secured funding of US$ 31 million to help realise its ambitious infrastructure expansion plans, the pan-African telco says the capital injection will significantly boost connectivity across key and currently underserved regions and contribute to the Group’s goal of doubling revenue within the next five years. The transaction was facilitated by Cirrus Capital, a 100% Namibian-owned, broad-scoped financial services company, which acted as the financial advisor for Paratus Group and lead arranger on the transaction.

The funding – from Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and fund manager, Ninety One – will be used over the next three years to create additional fiber routes connecting Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The investment will also be used to finance the completion of Paratus first Tier IV data center (DC) in Angola. The state-of-the-art 10MW facility will be the largest Paratus DC in Angola. It is designed to stimulate the digital economy, capitalise on the opportunities created by subsea cable systems in the region, and consolidate the Group’s strategy to create a regional hub in Angola. The facility will be Paratus’s fifth carrier neutral DC in southern Africa and complements two other Tier-III (by design) DCs in Luanda, Angola.

Ninety One, a global asset manager, mobilised capital from two of its funds, EAIF and Ninety One Africa Credit Opportunities, to enhance last mile connectivity and to introduce more reliable internet services across three sub-regions in Africa, including seven countries: Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia. The transaction will help strengthen the continent’s core digital infrastructure, which is fundamental to building more advanced economies in Africa.

From left to right: Steven Loubser (Ninety One RSA), Chastin Bassingthwaighte (Cirrus Capital), Gert Duvenhage (Paratus Group), Puleng Pitso (Ninety One RSA), Schalk Erasmus (Paratus Group), Rolf Mendelsohn (Paratus Group), Barney Harmse (Paratus Group), Stefan de Bruin (Paratus Group), Steven Lovesay (Ninety One RSA), Immanuel Amupadhi (Ninety One Namibia)

Chief Executive Officer of Paratus Group, Schalk Erasmus says: “This investment is a testament to our focus to greatly enhance cross-border fiber connectivity and facilitate economic development in the region. It is good news for African businesses, entrepreneurs and consumers throughout the continent. It is also a great leap forward on our journey and mission to transform Africa through exceptional digital infrastructure and customer service.”

Chastin Bassingthwaighte, Corporate Finance Associate at Cirrus Capital says: “We conducted an extensive process to secure Paratus Group the best possible funding for their needs, specifically long-duration and cashflow friendly debt that supports their long-term infrastructure roll out across the continent. Through this process, we negotiated and completed this capital raising with Ninety-One, in part through their Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund. While several competitive proposals were received, the Ninety-One offering stood out in terms of suitability for Paratus’ specific requirements.”

This raising is the sixth capital raising we have done for the broader Paratus group, and the seventh transaction, since 2017. Capital raisings include equity raisings in Namibia and at Group level, a debt programme on the Namibian Stock Exchange, and now debt at Group level. “We are proud of our association with this inspiring team, and of the instrumental role that we have played in securing capital for the group. These capital raises have supported their growth and helped to derive broad stakeholder benefits for founders, investors, employees, service providers, and clients.  We thank Paratus for the continued trust placed in us.”

Commenting on the agreement, Investment Specialist at Ninety One, Sine Zulu said: “Building world class digital infrastructure and facilitating fiber expansion is critical to unlocking the potential across Africa. The collaboration of Ninety One’s Africa Credit Opportunities and EAIF is a progressive partnership designed to deliver high-impact infrastructure projects and this funding will contribute to meeting the growing demand for connectivity and data in Africa.”

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