South Africa’s MTN Group has agreed to sell its tower portfolios in Rwanda and Zambia to IHS Holding Limited, the latter has confirmed. Under the terms of the deal MTN will sell a total of 1,228 mobile network towers to IHS’s subsidiaries in Rwanda (524 towers) and Zambia (704 towers); financial details of the sale were not disclosed. As per the agreements, IHS will acquire and operate the towers and related passive infrastructure and will invest in a build-to-suit programme to support MTN’s future requirements in both countries. Meanwhile, the South African group’s subsidiaries in the two countries – MTN Rwanda and MTN Zambia – will become the respective anchor tenants on the towers for an initial term of ten years.
The divestment of the infrastructure is in line with MTN’s asset optimisation strategy, which is encompassed in the group’s new strategic framework and builds on two previous deals with IHS in Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire, comprising a total of 1,758 towers. Commenting on this latest deal, Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN Group’s president and CEO, was cited as saying: ‘In addition to unlocking value in our passive infrastructure, we remain cognisant of the need to contain and efficiently manage our cost structures across the Group as our markets mature and become more competitive. We are confident these transactions are a positive step towards freeing up management time to focus on products and services, thereby fulfilling our mission of ‘making our customers’ lives a whole lot brighter.’