Helios raises $630M following Airtel’s tower deal

Helios raises $630M following Airtel’s tower deal

10 JUL 2014

Helios Towers Africa has pulled in $630 million of fresh funding from financial backers, having just acquired a chunk of Bharti Airtel’s cellular tower portfolio in Africa.

The new funds come from new and existing shareholders which are largely composed of leading private-equity groups.

And Helios expects to shortly tie-up debt facilities worth a further $350 million, as it looks to grow its tower business through acquisitions and organic growth.

The company has acquired 3,100 towers in four African countries from Bharti, which owns a total of 15,000 towers across the continent. The four countries in the sale and leaseback deal were not disclosed.

Also, neither company revealed the price for the towers.

For its part, Helios now claims to be the tower leader in Africa with a portfolio of over 7,800.

The sale by Bharti has been mooted for some time, with Helios seen as one of four frontrunners.

The portfolio is spread across so many different countries with various regulations, and a single sale was never realistic. Other piecemeal disposals are likely to follow.

Bharti has wanted to sell its towers in Africa for the last year to reduce the cost of investing in passive infrastructure, which has impacted its financial results.

Helios currently operates in Ghana, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Funding for Helios came from existing investors Quantum Strategic Partners, Helios Investment Partners, Albright Capital Management, RIT Capital Partners and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). New shareholders are Providence Equity Partners and IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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