African mobile infrastructure company IHS Towers has raised USD522 million of debt and equity to fund the expansion of its business across the continent. In a company press release, Nigeria-based IHS said it has raised USD280 million in debt from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), while new equity includes USD100 million from new investors and USD142 million from existing shareholders, including European investment group Wendel. The combined transaction brings the total financing raised by IHS in the last twelve months to over USD1 billion. The firm said it will utilise the proceeds to finance the construction of more than 1,000 mobile towers in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon, to invest in solar and energy efficiency solutions, and to fund further expansion into new markets. IHS Towers’ portfolio currently comprises 8,500 towers; in the first quarter of the year the company signed a leasing agreement with Orange Group for the operation of over 2,000 tower sites in Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon for a term of 15 years. This added to the 1,758 towers that IHS bought from MTN Group in October 2012. Issam Darwish, vice chairman and CEO of IHS Towers, said the new financial round ‘is critical to our aim to increase the portfolio to 20,000 towers under management, and will underpin our value creation strategy in the years to come.’
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