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African telco tower firm IHS inks $125mn deal

By , ITWeb
Africa , 31 Oct 2012

African telco tower firm IHS inks $125mn deal

One of Europe’s leading investment firms Wendel is acquiring a $125 million stake in African mobile tower firm IHS Holdings Limited (IHS).

IHS, which is headquartered in Nigeria, has operations Ghana, Sudan, South-Sudan, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire. Since IHS was established in 2001, the company says it has built over 2,800 sites and has under management over 5,700 - of which 3,000 are owned.

Its full year financial results have also revealed a revenue of $97.5 million for the year ended 30 April 2012.

And Wendel, through its subsidiary Oranje-Nassau Développement, has acquired a 25% stake in this African company thanks to its investment.

According to a press statement, the investment is planned to “fund IHS’ ongoing investment programme to support further tower purchases, infrastructure improvements and the continued development of innovative technology such as solar power throughout Africa and the Middle East.”

Key shareholders include the International Finance Corporation, South Africa’s Investec Asset Management, Emerging Capital Partners, Dutch Development Bank (FMO), local Nigerian banks and private investors such as Skye Bank.

Management are to retain 11% of the firm. Meanwhile, the equity raise is also augmented by debt raised from various international banks operating on the African continent, say IHS officials.

“The telecoms market in Africa is changing as the leading mobile network operators continue to partner with companies like IHS to monetise their non-core assets by outsourcing passive infrastructure,” said chief executive and vice-chairman of IHS Holdings Issam Darwish.

“Wendel recognizes this market opportunity and we are delighted to be working with them as we continue to expand,” Darwish added.

Chairman of the executive board of Wendel added, “Telecommunications will be at the heart of the African boom and if there is a requirement to invest further, we will not hesitate to do so on a country-by-country basis.”

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