Helios Towers Africa raises $630 mn

Helios Towers Africa (HTA), the leading, independent telecommunications towers company in Africa has raised $630 million in new equity resources from existing and new shareholders.

Existing shareholders include – Quantum Strategic Partners, Helios Investment Partners, Albright Capital Management, RIT Capital Partners and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), all added to their current stakes and are now joined by new shareholders Providence Equity Partners and IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund.

HTA also expects to complete negotiations shortly on new and extended debt facilities of over $350 million with a strong syndicate of international and local lending institutions.

Following this latest injection of capital into the business, HTA will have raised over $1.8 billion in external financing since inception in late 2009 to fund acquisitions and organic growth. This capital has enabled HTA to achieve and optimise its growth strategy with regard to the African telecoms towers industry, in which there continues to be huge potential.

The growth drivers underpinning the telecoms towers industry continue to be robust. There is a need for 100,000 Points of Service (PoS) in Africa to merely satisfy demand for 2G coverage and associated capacity demand over the next five years. This PoS requirement is underpinned further by the growing demand for 3G and 4G data, which is driving the need for significant additional infrastructure capacity and in-fill across the continent.

As a result of the recently announced transaction with Bharti Airtel, HTA is, on an owned-tower basis, the largest tower company in Africa, with over 7,800 owned towers.

Chuck Green, chief executive officer, HTA said, “We are delighted to have received this vote of confidence in our strategy and the growth opportunity available, from both our existing investors and new supporters. The market opportunity is as compelling as ever and this new capital injection will help us to consolidate our pan-African vision and market leading position, even further. We now have over 7,800 owned towers in Africa and the financial firepower to enter more new markets.”

“As long-term investors in the global wireless industry, we are excited about the tremendous growth potential across Africa and HTA’s unique position as the leading, independent telecoms tower company on the continent,” said Dany Rammal, managing director, Providence.

“We are pleased to partner with Chuck, his team, and the existing investors to add lasting value at the company.”

“HTA is well-positioned for growth in several under-penetrated markets in Africa and the Bharti Airtel transaction is another demonstration of the company’s credibility with large operators in the mobile telephone industry,” said Sujoy Bose, Head of the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund.

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