IHS agrees to acquire HTN’s 1,211-tower portfolio
11 March 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe
Nigeria’s leading mobile telecommunications infrastructure providers, IHS Holding and Helios Towers Nigeria (HTN), are to merge their operations in a reported ‘multi-billion dollar’ deal.
IHS has entered into an agreement with rival HTN to acquire its portfolio of 1,211 diversified tower sites throughout Nigeria. The deal will see IHS own over 24,500 towers in Africa.
“This transaction is significant in that it combines Africa’s two original tower companies and will enable us to strengthen our service offering to our customers while focusing on their needs,” said Issam Darwish, executive vice chairman and group CEO of IHS.
“We remain committed to the Nigerian tower market where coverage levels are yet to mature and explosive data growth continues. The growing data traffic and increased smartphone use presents an exciting market opportunity for IHS, with the potential for up to 40,000 more towers required to meet this demand.”
Upon completion of the ‘multi-billion dollar’ transaction, reports Nigeria’s The Guardian, IHS will have “full operational control of the underlying business and will market independent infrastructure sharing services to mobile network operators and ISPs in Nigeria”.
HTN and IHS established the Nigerian mobile infrastructure industry in the early 2000s, and the transaction represents the first in-market consolidation in Africa..
Inder Bajaj, chief executive officer of HTN, said IHS was the “natural buyer of our business”.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval but is expected to complete in Q2 2016.