Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Royal Group of Cambodia Hires Two Banks for $421 Million Loan

By Katrina Nicholas and Shelley Smith

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Group of Cambodia Ltd., owner of the country’s biggest mobile-phone company, hired Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. to arrange a $421 million loan.

The 18-month bridging loan will help Phnom Penh-based Royal Group acquire the Cambodian wireless network operations of its partner, Millicom International Cellular SA, for $346 million. It will also be used to refinance debt of about $100 million, Royal Group Chief Financial Officer Mark Hanna said.

“For a local company to raise this much in this climate is quite incredible,” Hanna said in a phone interview from Phnom Penh. “There have only been three or four syndicated loans done in Cambodia and nothing of this magnitude.”

Royal Group, whose aim according to its Web site is to promote the country’s economic development, owns a television network and has telecommunications, media and hotel investments in Cambodia. It owns a casino close to the border with Vietnam, as well as a joint venture to open the country’s first six-star resort in Siem Reap. Luxembourg-based Millicom has been selling its telecommunications assets in Asia, including its Sri Lanka unit for about $155 million in October.

The loan may pay interest of between 10 percent and 14 percent and will be put out for general syndication either later this month or early next year, one person familiar with the transaction said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katrina Nicholas in Singapore at; Shelley Smith in Hong Kong at


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