IHS Holding Limited (“IHS”), a mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, has announced the acquisition of 1,211 diversified tower sites belonging to Helios Towers Nigeria Limited (“HTN”), the pioneer of tower infrastructure sharing in Africa.
The transaction, which is still subject to requisite regulatory approvals, will see IHS acquire the entire issued share capital of HTN from HTN Towers Plc, which is owned by Helios Investment Partners, Pembani Group, First City Monument Bank and other minority shareholders.
Once the transaction is completed, IHS will have full operational control of the underlying business and will market independent infrastructure sharing services to mobile network operators and Internet service providers in Nigeria.
“This transaction is significant in that it combines Africa’s two original tower companies and will enable us to strengthen our service offering to our customers while focusing on their needs. We remain committed to the Nigerian tower market where coverage levels are yet to mature and explosive data growth continues,” Executive Vice Chairman & Group CEO of IHS, Issam Darwish said in a press release made available to TechLoy.
He added, “The growing data traffic and increased smartphone use presents an exciting market opportunity for IHS, with the potential for up to 40,000 more towers required to meet this demand.”
Business will continue as usual for HTN’s towers which will be seamlessly integrated into the IHS network and connected to IHS’s state of the art network operating centre which monitors each tower 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016, and will allow the continued delivery of best-in-class solutions to customers and additional investment in infrastructure upgrades.
CEO of HTN, Inder Bajaj said, “We have built a unique urban centric portfolio across Nigeria with the highest tenancy ratio in the industry and a diversified tenant mix. IHS is the natural buyer of our business and we believe their deep knowledge and extensive experience in the sector will help to continue the strong level of customer service already being achieved by HTN.”
The transaction strengthens IHS’s position as the market leading tower company in Nigeria and provides IHS the opportunity to optimise a larger portfolio through innovative green energy solutions and delivery of market leading quality of service.
IHS will work to roll out its renewable energy solutions and diesel reduction initiatives whilst maintaining unparalleled network uptime.
HTN and IHS established the mobile telecommunications infrastructure industry in Nigeria in the early 2000s and this transaction will be the first in-market consolidation in Africa.