Airtel Africa Doubles Down on Divestment Strategy by Selling Tanzanian Towers
Plc has announced the sale of the tower portfolio belonging to Airtel Tanzania to a joint venture company. The joint venture is majority-owned by a subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation, a leading global independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure, as well as Paradigm Infrastructure Limited, a UK company focused on developing and operating shared passive wireless infrastructure in selected growth markets.
The tower portfolio in Airtel Tanzania comprises approximately 1,400 towers which form part of the Group’s wireless telecommunications infrastructure network. 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.
The Transaction is 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 consideration for the transaction is approximately $175 million, of which approximately $157.5 million is payable on the first closing date, which is expected to take place in the second half of the Group’s current financial year. The balance payable in instalments upon the completion of the transfer of any remaining towers to the Purchaser. 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.
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