Airtel Africa on Wednesday said it has sold its tower portfolio (which is part of Airtel Tanzania) for $175 million, or Rs 1,279.6 crore. The deal marks the strategic disinvestment of the group’s tower portfolio as it continues to focus on a lighter asset model.
Airtel Africa provides telecommunications and mobile telephony services in 14 countries in Africa. In a statement, Airtel Africa announced that the tower portfolio of Airtel Tanzania has been sold to a joint venture company owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBA Communications, which is the independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure globally. Its majority stake is held by the British company Paradigm Infrastructure Limited.
Airtel Tanzania’s tower portfolio consists of around 1,400 towers, which are part of the group’s wireless telecommunications infrastructure network. Under the terms of the deal, group subsidiary Airtel Tanzania will maintain and operate its equipment at these towers under a separate lease agreement with the buyer.
Airtel said that the payment from the deal is expected to be around $157.5 million in the second half of the current financial year. The rest of the amount will be given to the buyer in installments after the transfer of the remaining tower is completed. Of this money, $60 million will be used to invest in the network and sales infrastructure in Tanzania. The rest of the amount will be used to reduce debt at the group level.