MTN sells Rwanda, Zambia towers to IHS

base transceiver stations (BTS)

MTN Group has sold a total of 1‚228 mobile network towers in Rwanda and Zambia to IHS Holdings for a price that was not disclosed.

MTN has sold its base stations in Rwanda and Zambia to IHS Holdings for an undisclosed amount. Image: Wiki Images

According to MTN the deal would unlock value‚ reduce costs of maintaining the infrastructure and enable the company to focus on providing its products and services.

“We are confident these transactions are a positive step towards freeing up management time to focus on products and services‚ and fulfil our mission of ‘making our customers’ lives a whole lot brighter‚” MTN Group president and chief executive Sifiso Dabengwa said.

The sale follows a similar transaction in 2011 when the operator sold 1‚000 of its base stations in Uganda. MTN has previously sold its mobile network towers in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire to IHS.

IHS Towers is Africa’s largest independent mobile infrastructure company. In 2013 the company received US$522m of new capital – US$280m in debt and US$242 in equity – which represented one of the largest capital expansion deals on the continent.

The transactions bring the total number of towers in IHS’s portfolio to 10‚500.

“IHS will market services on the towers in Rwanda and Zambia‚ promoting tower sharing and co-location to help drive network improvements, provide better service to subscribers and increase its growth‚” IHS said.

IHS Group chief executive Issam Darwish said he was pleased with the expansion into the two territories.

“We are delighted to be extending our relationship with MTN in Rwanda and Zambia. These latest deals are proof of our commitment to client service‚ enabling the most efficient‚ effective and reliable networks for our clients‚” he said.

Each transaction is expected to be finalised in the first half of next year.

MTN Rwanda and MTN Zambia will use the towers for an initial term of 10 years.