Airtel Africa has announced the first closing of a transaction to sell its telecommunications tower assets in Tanzania for a total consideration of USD176.1 million. The tower assets are being purchased by a joint venture company owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation, a leading global independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure, as majority owner, and by Paradigm Infrastructure Limited, a UK 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 under separate lease arrangements, largely made in local currencies, with the purchaser.
With first closing, approximately USD159 million of the proceeds for the transaction has now been paid, with the balance payable in instalments upon the completion of the transfer of the remaining towers to the purchaser. Around USD60 million from the proceeds will be used to invest in network and sales infrastructure in Tanzania and for distribution to the Tanzanian government. The balance of the proceeds will be used to reduce debt at the group level.