The Common Market for Easter and Southern Africa (Comesa), via its Competition Commission, has approved the proposed acquisition of Madagascar Towers SA and Malawi Towers Limited by the UK’s Helios Towers.
Helios Towers operates in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is incorporated in Malawi and Madagascar Helios Towers as Helios Towers Malawi Limited and Helios Towers Madagascar Limited.
Madagascar Towers and Malawi Towers are part of Airtel Africa which provides passive telecommunications infrastructure in Madagascar and Malawi respectively.
According to the registrar of the Comesa Competition Commission (CCC) Meti Disana, the approval follows the payment of a fine of US$102 101.765 imposed on the companies by the Commission for failure to notify it of the proposed transaction on time.
Disana said, “The committee responsible for initial determination or CID determined that the transaction was unlikely to harm the market nor result in reduced welfare for consumers in Madagascar, Malawi and Comesa at large. The parties’ compliance was commendable as this was testimony that the parties are law abiding corporate citizens who take their obligation under the Comesa Competition Regulations seriously.”
In September, Disana warned operators affiliated with Comesa to comply with regulation, especially with respect to anti-competitive conduct and said the Commission would not take any breaches lightly.
In March this year, Airtel Africa sold 1, 229 tower units in Madagascar and Malawi to Helios Towers for US$108-million.