Airtel Africa sells 1,424 towers to Helios for $ 119 mn

Airtel Africa will sell 1,424 towers in Madagascar and Malawi to Helios Towers for $ 119 million, Bharti Airtel said in a control file.

The two companies have also entered into a tower goods agreement in Chad and Gabon but details of the agreement have not been disclosed.

“Airtel Africa today (Tuesday) announced the signing of agreements to sell its telecommunications companies in Madagascar and Malawi to Helios Towers plc.

“Group tower positions in both markets include 1,229 towers that are part of the wireless telecommunications network connection,” the filing said.

Actions are expected to close in the last quarter of 2021.

Airtel Africa has also signed an agreement with Helios Towers to sell 195 more sites in Madagascar and Malawi over the next three years following the withdrawal of USD 11 million.

In addition, Airtel Africa has entered into special transaction agreements (Helios Towers).

“The proposed activities are subject to the signing of explicit legal agreements for sale, including conditions of customary closure as required by law,” the statement said.

The telecommunications service company has around 1,000 towers in the two countries.

The Airtel Africa agreement in Chad and Gabon will also include rental arrangements with Helios Towers and build compliance with commitments in Chad and Gabon. “The proposed activities are unconditional and are expected to close before the end of the 2022 financial year,” the statement said.

The company will use the proceeds from the transaction and proposed activities to reduce Airtel Africa Group’s external debt and to invest in network infrastructure and marketing in developing countries.

Airtel Africa previously also sold tower equipment to Helios for USD 1.3 billion in 2015.

Airtel Africa CEO Raghunath Mandava said Helios Towers had been a partner for the group for many years.

“These transactions will also help improve our debt mix and increase our long-term lease, which is paid high in local currency by our operating companies while reducing the group’s foreign currency debt,” Mandava said.

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