Airtel Africa Sells Towers In Tanzania For $175m
Airtel Africa, leading telecommunications and mobile money services provider, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, at the midweek announced the sale of the tower portfolio belonging to Airtel Tanzania to a joint venture company owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation, a leading global independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure, as majority owner.
The tower portfolio is being sold at approximately $175m, of which $157.5m is payable on the first closing date (expected to take place in the second half of the Group’s current financial year), while the balance is payable in instalments upon the completion of the transfer of any remaining towers to the purchaser.
The Transaction is the latest strategic divestment of the Group’s tower portfolio as it focusses on an asset-light business model and on its core subscriber-facing operations.
“Around $60m from the proceeds will be used to invest in network and sales infrastructure in Tanzania and for distribution to the Government of Tanzania, as per the settlement described in the Airtel Africa IPO Prospectus document published in June 2019,” according to a filing by Simon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary of Airtel Africa.
The balance from the sales proceeds of the 1,400 towers which form part of the Group’s wireless telecommunications infrastructure network, will be used to reduce debt at group level, the statement added.
Under the terms of the deal, the group’s subsidiary Airtel Tanzania plc is to continue developing, maintaining, and operating its equipment on the towers under a separate lease arrangement with the Purchaser.