India’s Bharti Airtel has concluded a sale-and-leaseback deal for its tower assets in Burkina Faso with Eaton Towers, just weeks after it pulled the plug on an agreement to sell 3,500 towers in six countries to the passive infrastructure firm. Under the contract, Airtel has committed to a ten-year tenancy with Eaton Towers. Airtel has not sold around 9,000 towers across eight African countries – including 2,500 to Eaton Towers in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and Burkina Faso – and the group is committed to divesting its tower portfolio in other countries, the company said in a statement.
Airtel’s CEO for Africa, Christian De Faria commented: ‘We are pleased to close this fourth transaction with Eaton Towers and we continue to explore other opportunities to work together. Airtel continues to sharpen its focus on its core business and delivering best in class experience to its customers in Africa.’
The announcement follows on the heels of the collapse of a wider deal between the two firms, which would have seen Airtel offload 3,500 towers in six nations. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the agreement, signed in September 2014, lapsed earlier this month and was terminated. No reason was given for the delay, however.