IHS Holding Limited, one of Africa’s largest mobile telecommunications infrastructure providers, has on Thursday, March 10th, announced plans to buy Helios Towers Nigeria Limited for an undisclosed sum.
IHS founder, Issam Darwis, said the tower company, which builds and leases mobile telecoms towers in five countries across the continent, will acquire 1,211 diversified towers spread across 34 of Nigeria’s 36 states.
“IHS will acquire the full control of the entire issued share capital of Helios Towers, its underlying business as well as market independent infrastructure sharing services to mobile network operators and internet service providers in Nigeria,” Darwis announced.
The statement from IHS, says the transaction will allow the continued delivery of best-in-class solutions to customers and additional investments in infrastructure upgrades.
The deal is expected to be reached in the second quarter of 2016.
Nigeria remains the telecom infrastructure giant’s biggest market with about 15,000 towers spread across the country, it also already has about 23,000 towers across Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Zambia and Rwanda.
The company will acquire the entire issued share capital of HTN, which is ultimately owned by Helios Investment Partners, Pembani Group, First City Monument Bank and other minority shareholders.
Upon completion of the transaction, IHS will have full operational control of the underlying businesses and will market independent infrastructure sharing services to mobile network operators and internet service providers in Nigeria.
HTN and IHS established the mobile telecommunications infrastructure industry in Nigeria in the early 2000s and the transaction will be the first in-market consolidation in Africa.
HTN is a leading tower operator in Nigeria and the first independent tower operator in Africa. Currently operating in 34 of 36 states in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, with over 1,200 towers and over 2,500 technology tenants.
HTN is also an ISO 9001:2008 certified company and is recognised and trusted by its customers for its delivery of best-in-class services and efficiency.
Building and maintaining mobile communication towers in Africa tends to be more expensive than in other parts of the world because of security costs and electricity shortages, while revenue per user is often lower.
These costs have prompted many mobile operators to sell or lease towers to specialist companies such as IHS, which can reduce building and maintenance costs by hosting multiple tenant mobile operators and internet providers on the same towers.