Dark Fibre Africa had entered into a refinancing agreement with a syndicate of lenders to source R3.5 billion of corporate debt facilities to replace project finance funding and invest in new infrastructure in order to meet the growing demand for fibre-optic infrastructure across South Africa, the company announced yesterday. Thinus Mulder, the chief financial officer, said the refinancing consisted of R1bn of general banking facilities and revolving credit facilities, together with a series of three-, four-, five- and six-year term loans amounting to R2.2bn provided by a syndicate of lenders. “The syndicate of lenders includes banks, financial institutions and development funding agencies, namely Absa, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Rand Merchant Bank, Futuregrowth Asset Management, Investec Asset Management, the KZN Growth Fund, Liberty Group and Stanlib Asset Management,” he said. Mulder said the refinancing “will enable Dark Fibre Africa to achieve its main goals of diversifying our providers of debt funding, allow for greater financial flexibility and substantially reduce our financing costs. Demand for fibre to the business has been steadily increasing and funding institutions have recognised this. On the back of this, Dark Fibre Africa received an overwhelming response by new funders.” – Ayanda Mdluli