IHS Towers has completed the acquisition of 5,701 towers from MTN South Africa for ZAR6.4 billion (US$412.5 million) as part of a leaseback agreement.
The deal will see IHS Towers provide Power Management Services to MTN SA on approximately 13,000 sites across South Africa, including those obtained as part of the transaction. IHS Towers will align the Power Management Services with its existing service offering in other African markets; it will primarily involve power systems and security, and will be delivered to the acquired sites as well as other third-party sites on which MTN SA is present.
IHS Towers will own 70% of the spun-off towers business with the remaining 30% to be owned by a B-BBEE consortium. The deal has received the required approvals from the South African Competition Commission, and gives IHS a foothold in seven African markets, alongside four across Latin America and the Middle East. The firm now has almost 39,000 towers globally.
Sam Darwish, IHS Towers Chairman and CEO, said: “IHS was founded in Africa and the region continues to be a key anchor for our company. Through this transaction, IHS has now entered the most industrialised economy in Africa as South Africa’s largest independent tower operator…We will leverage our deep operational excellence and engineering expertise, honed across our other African markets, to meet South Africa’s increasingly sophisticated data demands and expedite the roll-out of new technologies.”
Ralph Mupita, MTN Group President and CEO, said: “With the regulatory approvals and all conditions precedent to the deal finalised, we are pleased to have IHS bring global capabilities to our South Africa network. Additionally, with this deal, we continue to deliver on our Asset Realisation Programme, strengthening the balance sheet and improving returns.”