Starcomms Nigeria, Swap Tech Sign $81m deal

STARCOMMS has announced the completion of a sale and leaseback agreement with Swap Technologies for the management of 407 of its 557 Base Station Towers.

The deal is valued at $81.4 million (about R570.5million) and is for an initial period of 15 years.

Telecom base station
Under the terms of the transaction, Swap will take over the operation and maintenance of the passive aspects of the 407 towers throughout Nigeria.

These towers comprise the physical structures as well as the power components, while the core network and radio components remain under Starcomms’ ownership and control.

Chief Executive Officer of the company, Maher Qubain, told our reporter on Wednesday that: “Sale and leaseback transactions such as this have become commonplace worldwide within the telecommunications sector. By leasing rather than owning these passive infrastructure network facilities, we can free up capital to fund additional growth, reduce debts and operational costs in the company, as well as allow management to focus on its core business.”

“The $67 million of the proceeds realised from the sale will be applied towards repayment of a sizeable portion of the company’s bank debts, thereby significantly strengthening the balance sheet of the company, while also reducing interest charges. The balance, $14.4 million will be used to fund growth of the business.”

Chief Executive Officer of Swap Technologies, Olatunde Titilayo said:”These are excellent towers and are concentrated in very strategic locations across the country. They will enable us provide a more extensive range of fully integrated service benefits as wireless communications continue to grow.”-