Helios Acquires Telecoms Towers from Airtel

Bharti Airtel has agreed to the divestment of approximately 3,100 telecoms towers to Helios Towers Africa (HTA).

This will reportedly allow Airtel to focus on its core business and customers as well as enable it to deleverage through debt reduction, significantly reducing its ongoing capital expenditure on passive infrastructure.

"The agreement is another milestone in Airtel's growth journey in Africa. Airtel pioneered the concept of a separate tower entity to promote infrastructure sharing in India and this agreement is a continuation of that philosophy," said Bharti Airtel International Netherlands BV chairman, Manoj Kohli.

"It is an important step towards the consolidation of tower assets across Africa that will drive industry-wide cost efficiencies through infrastructure sharing. The agreement will further help in accelerating the growth of telecom services in the continent and at the same time benefit the environment by avoiding duplication of infrastructure."

The towers will expand HTA's coverage on the African continent to over 7,800 owned towers, assisting in allowing customers to preserve capital, focus on their core business and mitigate the proliferation of towers through the sharing of infrastructure.

Chuck Green, chief executive of HTA, 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."