Bharti Airtel on Monday sold over 1,100 telecom towers in Zambia and Rwanda to IHS Holding at an estimated $180-200 million (roughly Rs. 1,132 crores to Rs. 1,258 crores) to pare debt.
"Bharti Airtel Limited [through its subsidiary company Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) and IHS Holding Limited today announced an agreement under which IHS will acquire over 1,100 telecoms towers across two countries," a joint statement said.
As part of the 10-year renewable contract, Airtel will lease back the towers from IHS.
Though the company did not share the financial details of the deal, investment banking sources put it around $180-200 million.
The agreements 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 expenditure on passive infrastructure in these African markets.
"This agreement will accelerate infrastructure sharing amongst operators and benefit customers in form of affordable tariffs and wider network coverage," Bharti Airtel Africa MD and CEO Christian de Faria said.
With the agreement, IHS expands its Africa tower footprint to over 21,000 towers across five countries.
"The opportunity to expand our East African business bringing IHS' market leading energy and infrastructure management practices to a wider market is an excellent opportunity," IHS Executive Vice Chairman and Group CEO Issam Darwish said