TMT Finance reports that African infrastructure and investment firm IHS is seen as the frontrunner in the race to acquire mobile towers belonging to Senegal-based Sonatel, which is owned by Orange Group and is responsible for its operations in western Africa. An unnamed source is quoted as saying that Sonatel owns more than 3,000 towers in the region with an estimated portfolio value of USD500 million. Broken down, the Senegal telco has 1,600 towers in its home country, as well as 400 in Guinea, 1,000 in Mali and 85 in Guinea-Bissau. Lazard is understood to have been appointed to advise on the sale process and with talks underway with a number of as yet unconfirmed towercos, a sale is expected to take place in the first half of 2014.
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