Nigerian IHS Towers raises USD 522mn in debt and equity to back expansion

By bne IntelliNews July 25, 2013

Nigeria-based mobile infrastructure company IHS Towers has raised USD 522mn in debt and equity from new and existing lenders and shareholders aiming to invest in growing its business, IHS said in a statement. It elaborated that the proceeds will be used to fund the construction of more than 1,000 build-to-suit (BTS) towers in Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Cameroon, to invest in solar and energy efficiency solutions, and to fund further expansion into new markets.

Under the deal, IHS raised USD 280mn new debt finance led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private investment arm. Existing shareholders injected USD 142mn in new equity, while new investors, including one of Asia’s premier sovereign wealth funds, infused USD 100mn. The combined transaction brought the total financing raised by IHS during the last 12 months to over USD 1bn.

IHS Towers CEO Issam Darwish noted that over the last two years IHS has tripled its towers under management across Africa to 8,500 and is now prepared to expand into new markets whilst supporting its current operations in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast. At the end of last year the company signed a deal with South Africa-based MTN, Africa’s biggest mobile operator, to buy its 1,758 transmission towers in Ivory Coast and Cameroon for USD 284mn. At the start of this year, it signed an agreement with Orange to manage over 2,000 sites in Cameroon and Ivory Coast for a term of 15 years. IHS aims to increase its portfolio to 20,000 towers under management.

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