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Batelco Group Successfully Prices Inaugural Bond with US$650 Million Issuance

Batelco Group Successfully Prices Inaugural Bond with US$650 Million Issuance

Batelco Group CE Shaikh Mohamed Bin Isa Al Khalifa -

Batelco Group (Ticker: BATELCO), the international telecommunications company with operations across 16 geographies, today announced the successful launch and pricing of a US$650 million 7-year Reg S bond offering. The bonds are rated BBB - by both Standard & Poor's and Fitch.

The transaction, led by BNP Paribas and Citigroup, is the inaugural bond issue for the Group with the proceeds forming part of the funding requirements for Batelco's recently announced acquisition of the Monaco & Islands business units of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC).

The issue was priced at a spread of 325 basis points over 7-year US Treasuries, for a yield of 4.342% and coupon of 4.250% per annum, following a week long  roadshow covering the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The pricing, at the tight end of revised price guidance, reflects the strong interest and participation of a well diversified group of global investors.

The transaction attracted a [US$4.8] billion orderbook across 255 accounts with allocations of 38% to Middle East investors, 12% to Asia, 22% to Europe, 27% to UK and the remaining 1% to other investors. By investor type, the initial split was 48% to asset managers funds, 34% to banks, 8% to private banks, 3% to insurance companies and pension funds, 3% to hedge funds and 4% to other investors.  The bonds, which will settle on May 2, 2013, will be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Commenting on the announcement, Batelco Group CEO, Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa said, "We are extremely pleased with the success of this transaction, Batelco Group's first foray into the international bond market. The strong demand, attractive pricing and the extremely quick take up of the issue underscores the confidence of the global markets in our strategy, business model and prospects as we grow from a regional operator of reference into a global telecommunications player. In addition, the transaction also highlights our strong credit quality, strengthens our funding mix and provides us with greater financial flexibility."

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