Helios Towers raises $630 mln equity after deal with Airtel - CNBC Africa

Helios Towers raises $630 mln equity after deal with Airtel


by Reuters 0

Helios Towers Africa it has secured equity financing of 630 million dollars from new and existing investors. PHOTO: Square Space

The announcement was made a day after India's Bharti Airtel Ltd 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, has completed negotiations on new and extended debt facilities of over 350 million dollars with international and local lenders, it said.

India's top mobile phone carrier, Bharti Airtel Ltd, said on Wednesday that it will 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 two billion dollars.

(READ MORE: Helios acquires telecoms towers from Airtel)

"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 in a statement.

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

With this latest fundraising, Helios Towers will have raised over $1.8 billion in financing over the past five years to fund acquisitions and organic growth, the company said.

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

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