Airtel Africa sells Tanzanian Towers as Part of Divestment Strategy

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Airtel Africa
Airtel Africa has announced the sale of the tower portfolio belonging to its Tanzanian market to a joint venture company.
The joint venture is majority-owned by a subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation and Paradigm Infrastructure Limited.

SBA Communications Corporations is a leading global independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure, while Paradigm Infrastructure Limited is a UK company that develops and operates shared passive wireless infrastructure in selected growth markets.

Airtel Tanzania manages approximately 1,400 towers as part of the Group’s wireless telecommunications infrastructure network.

The Group’s subsidiary, Airtel Tanzania plc, will continue developing, maintaining, and operating its equipment on the towers under a separate lease arrangement with the purchaser according to the transaction terms.

The transaction is the latest strategic divestment of the Group’s tower portfolio as it focuses on an asset-light business model and its core subscriber-facing operations.

The transaction is estimated at approximately $175 million. About $157.5 will be paid on the first closing date, which will be in the second half of the Group’s current financial year.

The purchaser will pay the rest in instalments after completing the transfer of any remaining towers.

About $60 million from the proceeds will be used to invest in network and sales infrastructure in Tanzania and distribution to the Government of Tanzania, as per the settlement described in the Airtel Africa IPO Prospectus document published in June 2019. The telco will use the balance of the proceeds to reduce debt at the Group level.

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