Airtel Africa finalised a deal to sell its passive infrastructure assets in Madagascar to Helios Towers for $51.7 million, furthering a strategy to focus on core operations.

In a statement, Airtel explained it will pour the proceeds into external debt reduction and investments in network and sales infrastructure in Madagascar.

Airtel also noted its Madagascar telecoms tower subsidiary will continue to develop, maintain and operate its equipment on the towers as outlined through additional lease arrangements.

In a separate statement, Helios Towers explained it expects a 12 year service agreement on the acquired assets to provide a $5 million bump in EBITDA in the first year of ownership.

The deal adds 490 sites to Helios Towers’ portfolio.

Helios Towers previously agreed to acquire Airtel’s infrastructure in Malawi.

Airtel has also agreed to sell passive infrastructure assets in Tanzania, and is tipped for similar plans for its towers in Chad and Gabon.