Helio Towers
base station. Timofeev Vladimir / Shutterstock.Com

London-listed Helios Towers announced on Tuesday plans to buy the towers of Airtel Africa.

The company said it has signed an agreement to buy Airtel Africa’s passive infrastructure in Madagascar and Malawi and has signed an exclusive memorandum of understanding for the potential acquisition of its passive infrastructure assets in Chad and Gabon.

These deals are all subject to regulatory approvals.

The company said in a statement that the deal comprise four separate agreements:

  • Two separate agreements, one for each market, for the acquisition of Airtel Africa’s passive infrastructure companies in Madagascar and Malawi for a total expected consideration of $108 million. These acquisitions are both anticipated to close in or around Q4 2021, subject to separate customary closing conditions including required regulatory approvals
  • In each of Chad and Gabon, the Group has entered into exclusive memorandum of understanding arrangements and, subject to obtaining a passive infrastructure licence in each jurisdiction, is expected to complete the acquisition of Airtel Africa’s passive infrastructure assets in those countries in or around Q1 2022.

“The transactions assets are expected to generate aggregated annualised revenues of $89 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $27 million (in the first full year of ownership), with further growth anticipated through 315 committed build to suits (“BTS”) and colocation lease-up,” the company said.

The deal represents 2,227 existing sites across Madagascar, Malawi, Chad and Gabon.

The company said the deal will make it the largest independent telecommunications infrastructure company in each of Malawi, Chad and Gabon with a strong market share in Madagascar.

The transaction is expected to increase Helios Towers’ geographic presence to 10 markets.

“We are delighted to announce these acquisitions which, alongside the previously announced entry into Senegal, means we will deliver on our 2025 ambition to increase our operational presence to at least eight markets well ahead of schedule and represents a significant step towards our target of 12,000+ sites,” said Helios Toers CEO, Kash Pandya.

“Additionally, as a result of service contract structuring and market selection, our hard-currency revenues and adjusted EBITDA will improve further, providing enhanced future stability for the business and complimented by the 12-year service contracts with Airtel Africa.

“We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Airtel Africa and the other MNOs by delivering exceptional services levels in these markets over the coming years, driving the sustainable growth of communications across Africa.”

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