MTN, IHS South Africa complete $412M tower sale - Mobile World Live

MTN, IHS South Africa complete $412M tower sale

01 JUN 2022

IHS Towers finally achieved its aim of acquiring 5,701 towers from MTN Group in South Africa, after apparently meeting stringent conditions imposed by the regulator.

MTN stated the cash consideration for the transaction, which was announced in November 2021, amounted to ZAR6.4 billion ($412 million).

Ralph Mupita, MTN president and CEO (pictured), confirmed “regulatory approvals and all conditions precedent to the deal” had been finalised, allowing the operator to “deliver on our asset realisation programme, strengthening the balance sheet and improving returns”.

New York-listed IHS Towers will own 70 per cent of the South African towers business, with the remaining 30 per cent to be held by a Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) consortium.

The achievement of 30 per cent black ownership within 24 months was a key requirement set by the Competition Commission.

IHS Towers also confirmed it is providing power and related services to around 13,000 MTN sites in the country.

Chairman and CEO Sam Darwish observed IHS Towers is “now South Africa’s largest independent tower operator”.

IHS Towers stated it now has an operational footprint in 11 emerging markets, with seven in Africa and four in Latin America and the Middle East, and operates close to 39,000 towers.

MTN has been considering a sale of its tower assets in South Africa since 2020 as part of a shift in its focus into strategic initiatives, including around securing spectrum.

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Anne Morris

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist and contributes news and analysis to Mobile World Live.

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