Tower management company Eaton Towers has secured a US$30m debt facility from Standard Bank, via Stanbic Bank Ghana and Standard Bank in SA, to expand its portfolio of telecommunications towers in Ghana.
Eaton Towers is one of several companies taking a keen interest in towering sharing opportunities in Africa as operators look to cut costs as margins are squeezed. Tower sharing involves placing antennas for multiple operators on the same tower and is seen as a way of reducing operational and capital expenditure and is particularly useful in remote areas where duplication of infrastructure is both impractical and economically ineffective.
This is Eaton’s first bank debt financing. Last September, Capital International Private Equity Funds made a $150m equity investment in the company.
Eaton says the debt facility and equity investment will allow it to add scale to its business of selling tower co-location and shared-infrastructure facilities to mobile operators.
In particular, the debt facility will be used to fund operational maintenance of existing towers that Eaton manages for Vodafone Ghana as well as the construction of new towers in Ghana.
Last October, Eaton Towers signed a 10-year contract to take over the operations and co-location management of 750 of Vodafone Ghana’s towers. The company says it plans to extend its operations across other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. — Staff reporter, TechCentral
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