Airtel Africa has signed an agreement to sell its tower companies in Malawi and Madagascar to Helios Tower for a gross value of $108 million. The transaction, expected to close in Q4 2021, is part of the business’ asset monetization bid, including selling a minority stake in its mobile money business.
In the agreements, Airtel Africa will continue developing, maintaining, and operating equipment on the 1,229 towers under separate lease agreements in local currency. Airtel will also build 195 additional tower sites in the two countries over the next three years, valued at $11 million. This brings the total value of the deal to $129 million for the 1,424 towers.
According to a company press release, Airtel Africa is also looking to offload its tower assets in Chad and Gabon to Helios after signing an exclusive MoU for the potential sale. Like its predecessor, the transaction will feature lease agreements with Helios, as well as a commitment to build new towers. The proposed transaction for these two countries is expected to close before the end of FY 2022.
The group will use proceeds from the transactions to reduce its external debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective countries.