After Vodacom Tanzania sold its 1,149 telecoms towers to Helios Towers Tanzania for about $ 75 million, the Helios Towers footprint in Africa will now rise to around 4,700 owned towers.
According to the purchase agreement, Vodacom will get a 25 percent stake in Helios. Millicom has a similar arrangement.
The towers company, which has already completed a similar deal with Millicom, will also commit to building more towers and both Millicom and Vodacom will be able to utilise the combined networks.
Chuck Green, chief executive of Helios Africa, said that there were a number of deals in the pipeline, underscoring the interest among the region’s mobile operators to strike partnership agreements with companies such as Helios as well as rivals IHS and America Towers. He said that in total there were about 18,000 towers that could be acquired in the next year, representing deals valued at about $ 2 billion.
Helios had adequate financial resource to cover the Tanzanian transaction, according to the group, and at least one other acquisition. The group has raised money through private equity groups in the past, although it could also consider raising money through a public listing in the future depending on the relative costs of capital to fund future deals.
After the acquisition, HTA will be providing close to 2,700 points of service to Vodacom and affiliates across Africa.
The deal will expand Helios Towers Africa’s tower coverage in Africa to 4,700 owned towers in Ghana, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
HTA, which is backed by a range of private equity groups such as Quantum Strategic, the fund managed by Soros Partners, Lord Rothschild’s RIT Capital Partners and Albright Capital Management, retains overall control of the Tanzanian business.