BrandArena: Airtel Nigeria, ATC sign $1bn definitive acquisition agreement on 4,800 towers

Thursday 27 November 2014

Airtel Nigeria, ATC sign $1bn definitive acquisition agreement on 4,800 towers

One of Nigeria’s major telecoms companies Airtel has signed a definitive agreement with American Tower Corporation (ATC) for the acquisition of the teleco’s towers in Nigeria.

According to a statement by American Tower in the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, the deal size is approximately $1.05 billion.

Airtel, however, will be the anchor tenant on the portfolio under a lease with a 10-year initial term, the joint statement said.

“The agreement will allow Airtel to focus on its core business and customers, enable it to deleverage through debt reduction and will significantly reduce its on-going capital expenditures on passive infrastructure in Nigeria,” it added.

American Tower and Airtel expect to close the acquisition during the first half of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. “We are pleased to announce the launch of our operations in Nigeria while expanding our relationship with Airtel, one of the leading multinational operators in the world,” said Jim Taiclet, chairman, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of American Tower.

“With the largest population and economy in Africa and relatively underdeveloped wireless infrastructure, we view Nigeria as a tremendous growth opportunity. Further, we expect this investment to support our long- term objective of generating double-digit AFFO per share growth for our stockholders,” he added.

“Nigeria is the largest mobile market in Africa and a key one for Airtel. This agreement, which is part of our stated philosophy of promoting infrastructure sharing, will provide us with considerable cost efficiencies and at the same time allows us to sharpen our focus on the customer.

“American Tower has a proven track record in passive infrastructure management and we look forward to benefitting from the best practices from all other countries it operates in,” said Christian de Faria, managing director and CEO of Bharti Airtel Africa.

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