In Tanzania, Airtel Africa has announced the completion of the first milestone to its telecommunications tower assets sale to a joint venture company for US$176.1 million. The transaction is part of the company’s overall deleveraging strategy, which netted over US$800 million through fundraising and asset sales in 2021.
According to a statement obtained by this platform, the buyer’s are a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation, a leading global independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure, as majority owner, and Paradigm Infrastructure Limited, a UK company focused on developing, owning, and operating shared passive wireless infrastructure in selected growth markets.
Airtel Africa’s subsidiary in Tanzania will continue to develop, maintain, and operate its equipment on the towers under separate leasing agreements with the Purchaser, most of which will be made in local currencies under the transaction terms.
“Approximately US$159 million of the transaction’s proceeds have been paid with the first close and the balance due in instalments once the remaining towers have been transferred to the Purchaser.”
“Around US$60 million of the proceeds will be utilised to invest in Tanzania’s network and sales infrastructure, as well as to distribute to the Tanzanian government, as per the settlement detailed in the Airtel Africa IPO Prospectus document; issued in June 2019.”
Airtel Africa went on to say that the remainder of the revenues would be used to lessen group debt.
Airtel has a presence in 14 African countries and provides mobile service and mobile money services. As of March 2021, it had 118 million customers in the continent, accounting for 30 per cent of its consolidated revenue.