Airtel Africa Plc, has announced the sale of the tower portfolio belonging to Airtel Tanzania. The transaction 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.
The tower portfolio was sold to a joint venture company owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation, as majority owner, and by Paradigm Infrastructure Limited.
According to a press release by Airtel Africa on Wednesday, its tower portfolio in Airtel Tanzania comprises approximately 1,400 towers.
The sale agreement amounts to approximately $175m. “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. The balance of the proceeds will be used to reduce debt at Group level.”
“Under the terms of the Transaction, the Group’s subsidiary Airtel Tanzania plc will continue to develop, maintain and operate its equipment on the towers under a separate lease arrangement with the Purchaser.
In March, 2021, Airtel Africa announced the sale of its telecommunications tower companies in Madagascar and Malawi to Helios Towers Plc. It said the proceeds of the transactions will be used by Airtel Africa to reduce its “external debt and to invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries.”
About Airtel Africa
Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries in Africa, primarily in East Africa and Central and West Africa. Airtel Africa offers an integrated suite of telecommunications solutions to its subscribers, including mobile voice and data services as well as mobile money services both nationally and internationally.
About SBA Communications
Corporation SBA Communications Corporation is a leading independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure including towers, buildings, rooftops, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells. With a portfolio of more than 33,000 communications sites in fourteen markets throughout the Americas and South Africa, SBA is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol SBAC. SBA is part of the S&P 500 and is one of the top 20 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) based on market capitalization.
Paradigm Infrastructure Limited is a UK company focused on developing, owning and operating shared passive wireless infrastructure in selected growth markets. Founded in 2019, Paradigm’s executive and management team bring together significant industry experience in starting up operations, managing and growing successful businesses in the TowerCo sector. This includes the establishment of new tower companies in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Columbia and Paraguay, along with the operational management of over 90,000 tower sites across EMEA, LatAm and the USA
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.