Nigeria-based telecommunications infrastructure group IHS Holding Ltd has completed sale and lease back of telecom towers in Zambia from Airtel Zambia.
In December last year, Bharti Airtel announced it had sold over 1,100 telecom towers in Zambia and Rwanda to IHS Holding at an estimated USD 180-200 million to pare debt.
As part of the 10-year renewable contract, Airtel will lease back the towers from IHS.
“This acquisition will enable us to eventually upgrade these towers and continue to roll-out innovative energy saving technology throughout the continent,” IHS Executive Vice Chairman & Group CEO Issam Darwish said.
Outsourcing tower infrastructure to IHS allows Airtel to focus on its core business and customers; enables it to deleverage through debt reduction, and will significantly reduce its ongoing capital expenditure on passive infrastructure, Airtel said in a statement.
In addition, IHS will roll out its renewable energy solutions across the Airtel network.
“IHS will roll out its diesel reduction initiatives which offset the unreliability of electrical grids and reduce diesel consumption whilst maintaining unparallelled network uptime,” the company said.
In June 2015, Bharti Airtel could not close mobile tower sale deal with Helios Towers Africa for sale of its tower assets in Tanzania and Tchad.
The net debt of Airtel stood at Rs 68,134.5 crore at the end of June this year.