Liquid Telecoms to raise expansion cash through public listing

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Business Writer
Econet Group subsidiary Liquid Telecom has appointed three global banks to begin a process of listing the company on a major European Exchange.

Leading publication TMT Finance, which tracks potential listings, has revealed that global banks JP Morgan, Citigroup and Standard Bank have been appointed to start the process of the listing. However, both Econet and Liquid remained tight-lipped about the appointments, neither confirming nor denying the reports.

But another sign of the eminent listing was a filing statement issued by the company and picked up by financial media, in which it gave a standard introductory statement on the company, much in line with the requirements of most stock exchanges.

Liquid Telecom is the largest operator of fibre optics, business satellite networks and data centres in Africa. It has, in over 20 years, built a network that is used by some of the largest corporate organizations, including business enterprises such as banks and mining companies, and has helped them operate in remote and difficult-to-access environments. The company works closely with mobile network operators, providing backbone infrastructure for rapid rollout and data storage.

By combing a mass of fibre optic networks and data centres onto a single platform, the company has built a unique and robust ecosystem, that is highly reliable for organizations that need to store large volumes of data and move high speed traffic across Africa.

Liquid Telecom was founded by Strive Masiyiwa’s Econet Group but the company now has key investors from South Africa, the Middle East and Singapore who have bought into the vision of an uninterrupted network of data centres, linked by fibre optic networks, which connect every single country in Africa.

The Liquid network currently runs from South Africa through Central and Eastern Africa. It is expected to reach Egypt to complete the symbolic ‘Cape to Cairo’ link before the end of this year.

The next stage, according to the company’s plans, will be to move west from Angola to Senegal, and to connect East to West Africa from Sudan to Nigeria. This phase of the development could cost more than $1 billion to build. This explains why the company is now turning to international public markets to raise more capital.

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