Letshego Holdings Limited, the financial inclusion focused group with consumer, micro lending and deposit-taking subsidiaries across Southern, East and West Africa recently announced that it successfully re-financed and freshly issued new Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed bond notes.
The company managed to raise R655 million in addition to an existing base of R225 million, bringing Letshego’s total debt issuance on the JSE to R880 million. The settlement was on 14 December 2015. Letshego Group Managing Director Chris Low said the money was raised from a number of South Africa based fixed income investors, adding that the ZAR bonds are part of the Group’s strategy to diversify its funding portfolio, as well as to create depth in local debt capital markets.
Low further revealed that Letshego had planned initially to raise R500 million, which was later increased to R655 million due to strong appetite from financial institutions “who like and understand the Letshego story”.
“The fact that we provide international investors with geographic and credit diversification makes Letshego a good investment destination for funds seeking sub-Sahara Africa opportunities,” said Low.
He further said the proceeds of the issue were partially used to refinance R475million of ZAR notes that matured in December 2015, whilst the remainder of the funding will be deployed to growing the Letshego franchise, and its financial inclusion agenda. He said the three new ZAR issuances, that include both fixed and floating rate senior secured notes maturing in 2018 and 2019, are part of Letshego’s JSE-listed R2.5 billion domestic medium term note programme. This is in addition to Letshego’s P350 million worth of bonds listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), and MZN72 million in unlisted paper in Mozambique.
Letshego is a Botswana international financial services centre-accredited holding company with lending and deposit-taking subsidiaries across ten countries in East, Southern and West Africa – Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda. Letshego is also the largest indigenous company on the BSE by market capitalization (in excess of US$600 million) and profitability (in excess of US$52 million profit before tax for the interim period to June 2015) and ranks among the top 40 market value sub-Saharan Africa companies (excluding South Africa).
Low described Letshego as a truly pan-African financial services provider that is committed to skills development. The Group currently employs over 2,000 team members, across more than 20 nationalities.
“600 members of the Letshego team comprise its commission-based sales force. It has over 290 representation points across its footprint, servicing a base of over 370,000 customers,” he stated.