Airtel Africa will sell 1,424 towers in Madagascar and Malawi to Helios Towers for $119 million, Bharti Airtel said in a regulatory filing.
The two companies have also entered into agreement for tower assets in Chad and Gabon but particulars of the deal were not disclosed.
“Airtel Africa today (on Tuesday) announces the signing of agreements to sell its telecommunications tower companies in Madagascar and Malawi to Helios Towers plc.
“The Group’s tower portfolios in these two markets together comprise 1,229 towers which form part of the Group’s wireless telecommunications infrastructure network,” the filing said.
The transaction is expected to close in the last quarter of 2021.
Airtel Africa has also signed a pact with Helios Towers for sale of additional 195 sites across Madagascar and Malawi over the three years following completion for USD 11 million.
“In addition, Airtel Africa has entered into exclusive memorandum of understanding agreements for the potential sale of its tower assets in Chad and Gabon to the purchaser (Helios Towers).
“The proposed transactions are subject to the signing of definitive legal agreements for sale, including customary closing conditions such as required regulatory approvals,” the filing said.
The telecom service provider firm has around 1,000 towers in these two countries.
Airtel Africa deal in Chad and Gabon will also incorporate lease arrangements with the Helios Towers and build to suit commitments in Chad and Gabon. “The proposed transactions are not inter-conditional and are expected to close before the end of our fiscal year 2022,” the filing said.
The company will use the proceeds from the transactions and the proposed transactions to reduce Airtel Africa Group’s external debt and to invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries.
Airtel Africa has earlier also sold tower assets to Helios for USD 1.3 billion in 2015.
Airtel Africa CEO Raghunath Mandava said Helios Towers has been a partner of the group for many years.
“These transactions will also help to improve the mix of our debt and increase its tenor through long-term leases, which are largely payable in local currency by our operating entities, while reducing foreign currency debt of the group,” Mr. Mandava said.