Etisalat Nigeria sells towers to IHS

Etisalat’s Nigerian subsidiary is set to sell 2,136 of its towers to IHS, in line with a fast-emerging trend across Africa.

Etisalat Nigeria will reportedly sell the towers to Nigeria’s IHS, and lease them back in a bid to expand its coverage across the country.

A number of African operators have entered into similar deals with tower companies over the last 12 months – including Bharti Airtel and Vodacom which sold assets to Helios Towers, and MTN which also signed a deal with IHS – as they look to reduce costs but maintain regional coverage.

The Etisalat Nigeria deal will see IHS invest $100 million in tower upgrades, including advancing generators and batteries, and will leave the tower firm owning and managing more than 6,540 towers in Nigeria.

The financial value of the deal has not been disclosed but market watchers estimate that it could raise approximately $400 million, and it is due to close later this year.