Africa-based IHS Towers announced it raised $2.6 billion in capital which it plans to use for acquisitions and to fund the building of new tower sites to expand its footprint.

The capital is the largest amount raised in Africa since 2007 and includes equity of $2 billion from existing and new shareholders, and a loan facility of $600 million.

The funds will also be used in the rollout of efficient power technologies and operational management technology, such as solar systems and high efficiency generator units.

“The contribution of our investors significantly strengthens our position and the ability to move into the next phase of growth and development with confidence,” said Issam Darwish, the CEO and executive vice chairman of IHS.

Darwish added that the company has a clear ambition “to play a leading role in the creation of the widest, most efficient and reliable mobile networks in Africa”.

According to a statement, IHS has raised $4.5 billion since 2012, which has helped it become established as the market leader in Nigeria, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, Zambia and Rwanda.

It has more than doubled the size of its portfolio to more than 20,000 towers over the past 12 months through a series of acquisitions.

It recently acquired more than 9,000 towers from MTN in Nigeria, in addition to the 2,000 bought from Etisalat at the beginning of August. The company has also been linked with a bid for Bharti Airtel’s 4,000 towers in the same country.