The deal, worth $412 million, continues MTN’s ongoing divestment plan, aiming to simplify its footprint across the African continent

This week, South Africa’s MTN has further monetised its passive assets, agreeing to sell and leaseback over 5,000 of its mobile towers to African infrastructure giant IHS Towers.

The deal, worth $412 million, will make IHS the largest independent tower operator in South Africa.

Of the 5,709 towers comprising the deal, around 4,000 are greenfield locations, with the remaining 1,700 being rooftop sites.

As part of the deal, IHS will provide MTN with power-as-a-service using roughly 12,800 sites across South Africa, including those recently acquired from MTN.

“Although we have expanded into new regions over the last two years, this agreement is testament to our continued commitment to facilitating mobile connectivity across the African continent,” said IHS chairman and CEO Sam Darwish. “With this transaction and our partnership with the Egypt Digital Company for Investment as announced last month, IHS now has a footprint in seven African markets, in addition to our four newer markets in Latam and MENA.”

In related news, IHS Towers announced earlier this week that it had closed its acquisition of a 51% stake in TIM Brasil’s FiberCo. The deal, first announced back in March, was worth just shy of $200 million, with IHS saying they would rebrand FiberCo to I-Systems following the move. TIM, as is so often the case in these transactions, will remain the anchor tenant for the network. 

IHS Towers claims to be fourth largest independent tower company in the world, trailing American Tower (216,911 towers), Cellnex (89,237), and SBA (34,072). The company’s delayed IPO launched on the US stock market last month, raising $378 million, with the company’s value climbing towards $8 billion. 


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