File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

London - MTN is seeking a $1 billion (R11.1 billion) revolving credit facility to refinance a loan maturing in April, according to three people with knowledge of the financing.

MTN hired Barclays to arrange the debt that will replace a $1.35 billion credit line obtained in 2011, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the terms are private.

The five-year deal is currently being marketed to a wider group of lenders.

African borrowers raised $35 billion of syndicated loans last year, 17 percent more than in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

MTN Nigerian Communication, a unit of MTN, said it got a $3 billion loan last April to refinance debt and upgrade infrastructure in Africa’s most populous country.

Officials at Johannesburg-based MTN didn’t reply to a telephone call and an e-mail seeking comment on the debt.

Barclays spokesman Jon Laycock also didn’t respond to a call and an e-mail enquiring about the bank’s appointment.

MTN agreed to pay a margin of 110 basis points, or 1.1 percentage point, more than the London interbank offered rate on its existing loan, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A revolving credit facility is a type of debt where money repaid can be borrowed again, and often remains undrawn. - Bloomberg News