IHS to acquire MTN's mobile network towers in Rwanda and Zambia

MTN-Dec30MTN will sell 1,228 mobile network towers to IHS’ subsidiaries in Rwanda and Zambia. (Image source: Michael Coghlan/Flickr)MTN Group has announced that will sell its mobile network tower portfolios in Rwanda and Zambia to mobile infrastructure company IHS

The South Africa-based telecommunications provider said it will sell 1,228 mobile network towers to IHS’ subsidiaries in Rwanda and Zambia, for an undisclosed amount.

According to company sources, the sale is in-line with MTN’s asset optimisation strategy and builds on two previous deals with IHS in Cameroon and Côté d’Ivoire.

MTN Group chief executive officer Sifiso Dabengwa said, “We remain cognizant of the needs to contain and efficiently manage our cost structures across the group as our markets mature and become more competitive. We are confident that these transactions are a positive step towards freeing up management time to focus on products and services.”

IHS would operate MTN’s towers and related passive infrastructure. The company plans to invest in a build-to-suit programme to support MTN’s future requirements in both countries, in the future. MTN Rwanda and MTN Zambia will become the respective anchor tenants on the towers for an initial term of 10 years.

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

The deals are expected to close during the first half of 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.

IHS chief executive officer Issam Darwish said, “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with MTN in Rwanda and Zambia. These deals are testament to our commitment to client service, enabling the most efficient, effective and reliable networks for our customers.”

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