Helios Towers raises $160m to buy more towers

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Helios Towers says it has raised US$160 million in equity and bonds in order to invest in more tower infrastructure in Africa and elsewhere.

The company raised $110 million in 48 million new shares on the London Stock Exchange and $50 million as convertible bonds, it announced.

“This capital raising further strengthens our balance sheet and supports our growth strategy,” said the company, which has a market capitalisation of £1.69 billion. Helios Towers has been listed on the London exchange since October 2019.

The company owns and operates more than 8,500 towers and other passive infrastructure in Africa. “Our main customers are the big five African MNOs [mobile network operators] and high-growth challengers”, it says.

Helios has already made acquisitions in South Africa, Senegal, Madagascar, Malawi, Chad and Gabon, and is now believed to be looking further afield.

Last month Helios Towers agreed to buy Omantel’s passive tower infrastructure portfolio of 2,890 sites, for $575 million in cash.

Through that deal, Helios Towers added the Middle East infrastructure market to its existing African business.

The company said this week: “The net proceeds from the capital increase will support Helios Towers’ ability to negotiate with potential counterparties in a position of financial strength.”