MTN Group Limited has announced that it has agreed to sell its tower portfolios in Rwanda and Zambia to IHS Holding Limited (“IHS”). MTN will sell a total of 1,228 mobile network towers to IHS’s subsidiaries in Rwanda and Zambia, comprised of 524 and 704 towers respectively, for undisclosed amounts.
The sale of the towers is in line with MTN’s asset optimization strategy which is encompassed in MTN’s new strategic framework and builds on two previous deals with IHS in Cameroon and Côté d’Ivoire, for a total of 1,758 towers. “In addition to unlocking value in our passive infrastructure, we remain cognizant of the need to contain and efficiently manage our cost structures across the Group as our markets mature and become more competitive. We are confident these transactions are a positive step towards freeing up management time to focus on products and services, thereby fulfilling our mission of ‘making our customers’ lives a whole lot brighter’” said Sifiso Dabengwa, President and CEO of MTN Group.
Mr. Dabengwa added, “MTN is pleased to be broadening our partnership with IHS, a leading tower operator with proven expertise across Africa, to our operations in Rwanda and Zambia”.
Issam Darwish, Group CEO of IHS commented: “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with MTN in Rwanda and Zambia. These latest deals are testament to our commitment to client service, enabling the most efficient, effective and reliable networks for our clients. Our strong and trusted relationship with MTN is important to us and we remain committed to reinforcing their focus on customer service excellence.”
Under the agreements, IHS will acquire and operate the towers and related passive infrastructure and will invest in a build-to-suit program to support MTN’s future requirements in both countries. MTN Rwanda and MTN Zambia will become the respective anchor tenants on the towers for an initial term of ten years.
The transactions bring the total number of towers in IHS’s portfolio to 10,500 extending its leadership in the African market. IHS will market services on the towers in Rwanda and Zambia, promoting tower sharing and colocation to help drive network improvements, better service to subscribers and economic growth.
Each transaction is expected to close independently during the first half of 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.