Omantel to hold global investor meetings ahead of bond issuance

Muscat - 

Omantel will start holding international investor meetings from today ahead of its US dollar bond issuance, the company announced on Thursday. 

In a filing to the Muscat Securities Market, Omantel said it has mandated Citi and Credit Suisse as global coordinators alongside Bank ABC, Bank Muscat, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank as joint lead managers to organise a series of fixed-income investor meetings in Dubai, London, New York and Boston to shed light on the bond to be issued by Oztel Holdings.

A recently held extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of Omantel had approved granting the guarantee for Omantel subsidiary Oztel Holdings SPC Limited for issuance of bonds. Moody's Investors Service on Thursday assigned a Baa3 rating to the US dollar benchmark offering of senior secured notes due 2023 and 2028 Oztel Holdings SPC Limited plans to issue with an unconditional and irrevocable guarantee by Omantel.

Moody's said the notes will initially benefit from shared security over a 21.9 per cent listed equity stake in Zain Group currently valued at around US$1.476bn. "The notes offering is consistent with Moody's expectations regarding Omantel's funding plans as incorporated in the company's ratings, including the Baa3 long-term issuer rating assigned to Omantel,” Douglas Rowlings, a Moody's vice-president and senior analyst, said.

"The net proceeds of the offering will be used to repay a US$1.45bn bridge loan facility raised as part of Omantel's acquisition of an equity stake in Zain Group, whose operations span the Middle East and Sudan," Rowlings added.

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