Georgia’s Silknet raises $200m in fresh bond issue

| March 27, 2019

Georgian telecoms company Silknet has raised $200m from its latest bond issue. The company, owned by Silk Road Group, one of the Caucasus’s leading private investment groups, is the largest fixed network provider and second largest broadband, mobile and cable television provider in the country.

SRG Chairman George Ramishvili commented: “Today’s placement reflects the strength and the potential of Silknet, the only company with a truly comprehensive communication and entertainment offer for consumers and businesses”. The issue attracted investors from a wide range of geographies and is expected to be rated B1 by Moody’s and B+ by Fitch.

It is rare for bond issues by Georgian companies to be rated by one of the so called ‘big three’, as bonds are often not large enough to warrant a rating.

Silknet CEO, David Mamulaishvili said “Investors taking advantage of this issuance will benefit from unrivalled exposure to Georgia, the former CIS’s most promising success story for its entrepreneurial business environment.”

The news follows Georgia’s rise to 6th place in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index, a considerable achievement for a country which experienced economic hardship in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse. The country’s strategic positioning between East and West has undoubtedly been a contributing factor to its economic success. “Silknet is an important part of Silk Road Group’s mission to establish Georgia as the bridge between East and West” Ramishvili went on to say.

Moody’s said a ‘stable outlook’ reflected the agency’s expectation that Silknet will ‘strengthen its market position’ and ‘complete the ongoing integration of Geocell’. Moody’s also noted that Silknet will use the bond issue proceeds to refinance its secured bank debt.

 

 

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