MTN has sold 1 000 of its base stations in Uganda to a new company, 51% held by tower-sharing company American Tower Corp (ATC) and 49% held by the JSE-listed mobile telecommunications group. The new company is known as TowerCo Uganda.
The $175m (about R1,4bn) deal comes a year after MTN reached a similar agreement in Ghana with ATC. It says it has a strategy to pursue “more extensive passive infrastructure sharing” in its key markets.
ATC, which will pay about $89m for its 51% stake in TowerCo Uganda, operates 40 000 communications sites in the US, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India, Mexico and Peru. In SA, it recently acquired most of the towers built by Cell C.
MTN Uganda will be the anchor tenant, on commercial terms, on each of the towers being purchased. In addition, TowerCo Uganda is expected to build at least 280 more sites for MTN over the next three years and pursue opportunities to build tower sites for other wireless operators in Uganda.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2012.
“MTN continues to view infrastructure sharing as one of its key strategies in driving operational efficiencies in its operations across Africa and the Middle East and will continue to pursue appropriate initiatives in that regard,” the group says in a statement. — Staff reporter, TechCentral
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