Airtel Africa says it has closed the first transaction sell of its tower assets in Tanzania for $176.1 million to a joint venture company.
The JV is majority-owned by a subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation and UK-based Paradigm Infrastructure Limited which owns the minority shares.
Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries in Africa, primarily in East Africa and Central and West Africa.
It said around $60m from the proceeds will be used to invest in network and sales infrastructure in Tanzania and for distribution to the Government.
“Under the terms of the transaction, Airtel Africa’s subsidiary in 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.”
In other news, Airtel Africa plans to spin off its Airtel money by end of 2022 according to Vimal Kumar, Airtel Money CEO exclusive interview with Quartz Africa.
“About 75 per cent of our operating companies are now on a standalone license. We are anticipating at least by end of this year, we should be able to establish a standalone entity,” he said.
“This required mainly two things to be done. One is that we needed regulatory approval to do that, and the second is that we needed to also establish a relationship with the GSM business [in the countries where we operated], as there would be some shared services. So it’s not entirely cutting it off, but it’s separate, to unleash the power of mobile money, and to really begin to try with driving more successfully and in a more progressive manner.”
Airtel Africa, an arm of Bharti Airtel, in March 2021 said TPG’s The Rise Fund would invest $200 million in its mobile money business at a valuation of $2.65 billion.
The proceeds will be used to reduce group debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries.
Airtel Mobile Commerce BV is the holding company for several of Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations.
Airtel Money partnered up with Flutterwave, an African payments platform to see its money services expand across Eastern Africa.