Airtel sells off more African towers

Dylan Bushell-Embling
17 Dec 2014
Daily News

India's Bharti Airtel has arranged to sell its telecom towers in Zambia and Rwanda to IHS Holding for a reported 20 billion rupiah ($313.4 million).

The operator will transfer ownership of its more than 1,100 telecom towers in the two markets as part of its efforts to improve its loss-making African operations, the Economic Timessaid.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the report cites an unnamed source as stating that each tower is valued at 15 to 20 million rupees. IHS will lease back access to the towers to Airtel.

Airtel's African operations have yet to achieve profitability since the operator bought into the market four years ago with the purchase of Zain's operations in the region in 2010.

During the September quarter, its African operations reported a net loss of $124 million, up from $46 million a year earlier.

This marks Airtel's fourth African tower sale in the past five months, following the sale of its Nigerian towers to American Tower in November, 3,500 towers in six other countries to Eaton Towers in September and its towers in four nations to Helios Towers in July.

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