Helios to buy thousands of Airtel Africa towers - TechCentral

Helios to buy thousands of Airtel Africa towers

London-listed Helios Towers has reached agreements to buy and deploy over 2 500 high sites from and for Airtel Africa Group in deals that potentially give it access to four “attractive new markets”.

Helios is acquiring Airtel’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”, all subject to regulatory approvals.

In a statement on Tuesday, Helios said the transactions 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 amount of US$108-million. “These acquisitions are both anticipated to close in or around the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to separate customary closing conditions, including required regulatory approvals.”
  • In each of Chad and Gabon, subject to obtaining a passive infrastructure licence in each jurisdiction, Helios is expected to complete the acquisition of Airtel Africa’s passive infrastructure assets in those countries around the first quarter of next year.

“The transactions’ assets are expected to generate aggregated annualised revenues of $89-million and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $27-million in the first full year of ownership,” Helios said. It will roll out a further 315 high sites for Airtel.

Helios will get 2 227 existing sites in Madagascar, Malawi, Chad and Gabon. Subject to completion, Helios Towers will become the largest independent telecommunications infrastructure company in Malawi, Chad and Gabon, with strong market share in Madagascar, it added.

The deal, if it proceeds in full, will increase Helios Towers’ geographic presence to 10 markets, “delivering the group’s 2025 vision to expand operational presence to at least eight markets, well ahead of plan”.

“Together with the committed BTS (base stations) and acquisition of assets in Senegal announced on 12 August 2020 – which is expected to close in the first half of 2021 – this increases group site count to 11 500 towers, nearing the group’s 2025 vision of expanding to 12 000-plus towers.”  — © 2021 NewsCentral Media

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