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R630m |in equity financing secured

July 11, 2014



LAGOS: Helios Towers Africa said yesterday it had secured equity financing of $630 million (R6.7 billion) from new and existing investors, a day after India'sBharti Airtel agreed to sell about 3 100 of its telecoms towers in Africa to Helios.

The pan-African mobile infrastructure firm, founded by George Soros-backed Helios Investment Partners, had completed negotiations on new and extended debt facilities of |more than $350m with international and local lenders.

India's top cellphone carrier, Bharti Airtel said on Wednesday it would sell about 3 100 telecoms towers in four African countries to Helios Towers Africa, in keeping with its plans to sell most of its transmitter towers in Africa.

The sales could raise up to $2bn.

"There is a need for 100 000 Points of Service in Africa to merely satisfy demand for 2G coverage… over the next five years… which is driving the need for significant additional infrastructure capacity," Helios Towers said.

Helios Towers said new investors Providence Equity Partners and |the World Bank's IFC African |fund would join existing shareholders, who had all increased their stake in the firm.

With this latest fundraising, |Helios Towers would have raised more than $1.8bn in financing over the |past five years to fund acquisitions and organic growth, said the |company.

The purchase of the Bharti Airtel towers would expand its tower coverage in Africa to more than 7 800, the company said.

Helios claims to have the largest number of telecoms towers held by an independent company focused exclusively on Africa. - Reuters

Cape Argus


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Source: Cape Argus (South Africa)


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