China’s Hengtong Optic-Electric is looking for external equity financing for a CNY 28.4bn (USD 4bn) submarine cable network linking Asia to Europe and Africa.
The company – the country’s largest power and fibre optic cable network manufacturer by sales – is considering several options, especially new share offerings, to fund the Pakistan and East African Connecting Europe (PEACE) project, a company spokesperson told Inframation.
The 15,800km submarine cable project will link Pakistan to Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa and France through a single landing point in the city of Marseille.
While construction has already begun with a scheduled commissioning date of 2021, the project developer is keen to attract financing from a small group of institutional investors including private equity funds this year, the spokesperson said. The cable project, with a bandwidth design capacity of 16Tbit/s, will be the shortest path for transmitting data from China.
“Instead of bank loans, we are mainly using equity funds to finance the project and the project will commence operations in phases,” he added,
Hengtong currently owns 100% of the project special purpose vehicle PEACE Cable International Network, which was registered in Hong Kong in 2018 and is set to be the company operating the submarine cable system.