The purchase has been made by a joint venture from SBA Communications Corp and Paradigm Infrastructure Ltd.
Airtel Africa have today announced the first closing of a deal that will see them offload roughly 1,400 mobile sites across Tanzania for $176 million.
The buyer in this case is a joint venture between SBA Communications Corp and Paradigm Infrastructure Ltd., in which SBA is the majority owner.
SBA Communications Corp is an investment trust that owns and operates wireless infrastructure, with existing operations covering the US, Canada, Central, American, South America, and South Africa.
Paradigm Infrastructure Ltd., meanwhile, is a much newer company, having been founded in 2019 to take advantage of the growing investment interest in wireless infrastructure, particularly in emerging and high growth markets, of which Africa has many. The company currently has operations in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda and Germany, and has acquired tower assets in the US, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and France.
According to reports, around $159 million has now been paid, with the remainder to be paid in instalments following the transfer of the tower assets. The majority of these funds will be used to reduce group debt, though around $60 million will be reserved for further network investment in Tanzania and to pay the Tanzanian government.
Airtel Africa’s Tanzanian subsidiary will continue to develop, maintain, and operate its equipment on the towers under a separate lease agreement.
Airtel Africa has been selling towers in a number of African markets in recent months, following a new strategy they announced in November 2020 that aims to see them slash their $3.5 billion in debt
by monetising their infrastructure assets.
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