Airtel Africa sells tower portfolio for $175 million to SBA Communications, Paradigm

According to the deal, global independent owner SBA Communications Corporation would be the majority owner, while Paradigm would have a lesser stake. UK-based Paradigm is focussed on developing, owning and operating shared passive wireless infrastructure.

Airtel Africa's tower portfolio in Airtel Tanzania comprises around 1,400 towers (Image: Moneycontrol)

Airtel Africa’s tower portfolio in Airtel Tanzania comprises around 1,400 towers (Image: Moneycontrol)

Airtel Africa on June 2 announced that it has agreed to sell the tower portfolio to a joint venture company, owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation and by Paradigm Infrastructure Limited (Paradigm), for around $175 million. The tower portfolio of Airtel Africa belongs to Airtel Tanzania, as reported by The Hindu BusinessLine.

According to the deal, global independent owner SBA Communications Corporation would be the majority owner, while Paradigm would have a lesser stake. UK-based Paradigm is focussed on developing, owning and operating shared passive wireless infrastructure.

As regards transaction amount, around $157.5 million is payable on the first closing date, while the balance amount will be paid in installments upon the completion of the transfer of any remaining towers to the purchaser, the daily reported quoting the company as saying.

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“Around $60 million from the proceeds will be used to invest in network and sales infrastructure in Tanzania and for distribution to the government of Tanzania, as per the settlement described in the Airtel Africa IPO Prospectus document published in June 2019,” the report said.

Airtel Africa’s tower portfolio in Airtel Tanzania comprises around 1,400 towers. This forms part of the Group’s wireless telecommunications infrastructure network.

As per the agreement, Airtel Tanzania will continue developing, maintaining and operating its equipment on the towers under a separate lease arrangement with the purchaser.

Airtel Africa said that the new development would help it focus on an asset-light business model and its core subscriber-facing operations, while the balance amount — from the deal would help reduce debt at the Group

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