Airtel Africa Plc has announced the sale of its tower portfolio belonging to one of its subsidiaries, Airtel Tanzania to a joint venture company, SBA Communications Corporation for approximately $175 million.

According to a notification signed by the Group’s secretary, Simon O’Hara, the payment for the towers which is estimated to be worth around $175 million will be made in tranches. In the first tranche, the sum of $157.5 million will be paid to Airtel during the second half of its current financial year. The balance will be paid in instalments upon the completion of the transfer of any remaining towers to the purchaser.

Explaining how the proceeds from the sale of the towers will be justifiably deployed, Airtel Africa explained that around $60 million will be invested in the network and sales infrastructure in Tanzania and for distribution to the Government of Tanzania, as provided in the Airtel Africa IPO prospectus document published in June 2019. The remaining balance of the proceeds will be used to reduce the debt at Group level.

It is pertinent to note that the tower portfolio in Airtel Tanzania comprises approximately 1, 400 towers which form part of the Group’s wireless telecommunications infrastructure network. Under the terms of the transaction, the Group’s subsidiary, Airtel Tanzania Plc will continue to develop and operate its equipment on the towers under a separate lease arrangement with the purchaser.

Recall that had earlier reported that Airtel Africa had secured a credit facility worth about $500 million from a consortium of leading banks.