Telecoms and mobile money services provider Airtel Africa has recently announced the sale of the tower portfolio belonging to its subsidiary Airtel Tanzania to a joint venture between SBA Communications Corporation of the US and Paradigm Infrastructure Limited of the UK.
Airtel’s tower portfolio in Tanzania comprises approximately 1,400 towers which form part of its wireless telecommunications infrastructure network.
SBA is an independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure including towers, buildings, rooftops, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells, with a portfolio of more than 33,000 communications sites in fourteen markets throughout the Americas and South Africa.
Paradigm is a company focused on developing, owning, and operating shared passive wireless infrastructure in selected growth markets.
Under the terms of the Transaction, Airtel Tanzania will continue to develop, maintain and operate its equipment on the towers.
The value of the transaction is approximately USD 175 million. Around USD 60 million from the proceeds will be used to invest in network and sales infrastructure in Tanzania and for distribution to the Government of Tanzania.
The acquisition is anticipated to close in stages starting in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.
The transaction is in line with Airtel’s strategic divestments to focus on an asset-light business model and on its core subscriber-facing operations.
In its press release, Paradigm explains that “Tanzania represents an exciting market with high demand for shared wireless infrastructure. The Paradigm team is very much looking forward to building a strong customer focussed business providing high quality and secure infrastructure to wireless network operators.”