IHS completes consolidation deal with Helios Towers Nigeria
•Firm to spend $1b on upgrade of power systems across Africa
IHS Holding Limited, the largest mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, has completed the acquisition of Helios Towers Nigeria Limited (HTN) 1,211 diversified tower sites throughout Nigeria.
HTN and IHS established the mobile telecommunications infrastructure industry in Nigeria in the early 2000s and this transaction, which was first announced on March 10, is the first in-market consolidation in Africa.
Under the terms of the transaction, IHS acquired the entire issued share capital of HTN and now has full operational control of the underlying business. Business will continue as usual for HTN’s towers which will be seamlessly integrated into the IHS network and connected to IHS’s state of the art network operating centre, which monitors each tower 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
According to the deal agreement, the transaction allows for the continued delivery of best-in-class solutions to customers and additional investment in infrastructure upgrades, adding that IHS is committed to maintaining HTN’s existing relationship and position with its bondholders and a meeting of bondholders held on April 22, agreed to waive any redemption rights which may have arisen in respect to the change of control.
IHS posited that the benefits of the transaction extend to all stakeholders as there are meaningful synergies that will be derived from the transaction given a considerable part of the IHS portfolio is located in Nigeria.
HIS, which just commissioned and unveiled a renewable energy report, said it will work to roll out its renewable energy solutions and diesel reduction initiatives whilst maintaining unparalleled network uptime.
Commenting, Chief Executive Officer of HTN, Inder Bajaj, said: “IHS has a proven track record in telecoms infrastructure services and is the natural buyer of our business. We strongly believe their deep knowledge and extensive experience in the sector will help to continue the strong level of customer service achieved by HTN.”
To the Executive Vice Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of IHS, Issam Darwish, “the completion of 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.
We remain committed to the Nigerian tower market and this transaction provides IHS the opportunity to optimise a larger portfolio through innovative green energy solutions and delivery of market leading quality of service.”
Transactions such as the acquisition of HTN have allowed IHS to create significant local technical and engineering employment opportunities throughout Africa. Over 95 per cent of IHS’s employees are African and IHS employs close to 40,000 people directly and indirectly through its exclusive subcontractors.
Already, IHS, which currently oversees 23, 300 towers in Nigeria, Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda and Zambia, planned to spend about $1 billion between 2016 to 2017 to upgrade power systems across Africa.
With over 15 years work experience across the African continent, HIS said it had in the last five years, raised about $5.4 billion in equity and debt.