Telecommunications tower operator IHS Holding has appointed Sandile Msimango as vice president and CEO of its South African operation after its recent R6.4-billion towers deal with MTN Group.
MTN announced in November 2021 that IHS would buy its South African tower portfolio. IHS is acquiring the “passive” components of the towers, not the “active”, or radio parts, pending regulatory approvals that are expected by the end of the first quarter of 2022. In all 5 709 towers will be handed over to IHS.
MTN intends reinvesting the proceeds into strategic growth initiatives, including bidding for spectrum licences at an upcoming auction to be conducted by communications regulator Icasa. All payments related to IHS for leaseback will be paid in rand, MTN said at the time of the deal’s announcement.
Msimango, who used to work for MTN Group, will be based in Johannesburg and report into IHS executive vice president and group chief operating officer William Saad. He has extensive experience in mergers and acquisition, investing and corporate strategy.
“He is a former MTN Group M&A executive, where he specifically served as head of infrastructure investments and was instrumental in its towers’ monetisation strategy,” IHS said in a statement.
“He began his investment banking career with Deutsche Securities and later Goldman Sachs International. Most recently, he was the founder and managing partner of a strategic financial advisory consultancy and investment vehicle, Coombe Advisory, with offices in London and Dubai.”
Founded 20 years ago by entrepreneur Sam Darwish in Nigeria, IHS has steadily built up a tower portfolio across emerging markets and is already one of the largest independent tower portfolio operators worldwide.