MTN South Africa has completed its sale of its passive tower portfolio to IHS Towers.
Last November, the telecommunications operator – which is part of Johannesburg-headquartered MTN Group – said it had reached an agreement with IHS to sell a big chunk of its local tower portfolio in a R6.4-billion deal.
MTN agreed to sell the “passive” parts of the towers, and not the “active”, or radio, components. It involves 4 000 so-called “greenfield” and 1 700 rooftop sites. Access to the sites will allow IHS to on-sell space to other telecoms operators and broadband providers.With this acquisition, IHS now has an operational footprint in 11 emerging markets with seven in Africa
IHS Holding, which is listed in New York, is one of the world’s largest independent tower owners and operators. In terms of its agreement with MTN, it will also provide power management services to 13 000 sites, including those in the acquisition portfolio, across South Africa.
IHS Towers will own 70% of the South African towers business with the remaining 30% to be owned by a broad-based black economic empowerment consortium.
“With this acquisition, IHS now has an operational footprint in 11 emerging markets with seven in Africa, in addition to four in Latin America and the Middle East, with a global tower count of nearly 39 000 towers,” the company said.
“The closure of this acquisition is an important milestone in IHS’s growth story. IHS was founded in Africa and the region continues to be a key anchor for our company,” said IHS chairman and CEO Sam Darwish.