Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Limited, and Helios Towers Africa (HTA), a leading independent telecoms towers company in Africa, today announced an agreement for the divestment of approximately 950 telecoms towers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from Airtel to HTA. The divestment also includes towers currently under construction in the DRC. The deal will expand HTA’s tower coverage in Africa to over 6,500 owned towers.
The agreement will allow Airtel to focus on its core business and customers, while enabling it to deleverage through debt reduction. The deal will significantly reduce Airtel’s ongoing capital expenditure on passive infrastructure and also mitigate the proliferation of towers through enhanced sharing.
HTA is solely focused on providing telecoms infrastructure solutions which help its customers to achieve their goals. These goals typically include: reducing operating cost, improving network uptime, preserving capital, focusing on their core business, and mitigating the proliferation of towers through infrastructure sharing, as they expand network coverage and capacity to meet the growing demand and improve quality of telecom service.
The agreement is subject to statutory and regulatory approvals in the respective countries.
Commenting on the agreement, Kash Pandya, Chief Executive Officer of Helios Towers Africa, said:”HTA is proud to be chosen by Airtel as its partner for the ownership and management of its existing infrastructure. This is a ground-breaking move for HTA, and Airtel’s decision is a significant endorsement of HTA’s reputation, management team and operating track record.”
Christian De Faria, Executive Chairman, Bharti Airtel International Netherlands BV (BAIN), added:”We are pleased to strengthen our partnership with HTA in Africa. The agreement is in line with our stated philosophy of divesting passive infrastructure and promoting sharing of towers to enhance operational efficiencies that will further the growth of telecom services. Airtel remains committed to DRC and will continue to invest in its operations and serve customers with world-class services.”