MTN Group has sold 51 per cent of its telecom towers and base stations in Ghana to America Tower Corporation (ATC).
Sources close to the deal said the transaction involves the sale of up to 1,876 of MTN Ghana’s existing base station sites for an agreed purchase price of up to $428.3 million, of which ATC will pay about $218.5 million for the 51 per cent stake.
The remaining 49 per cent will be held by a private company to be called TowerCo Ghana, which will also be managed by ATC on behalf of MTN and the company.
MTN Ghana will therefore be the anchor tenant, on commercial terms, on each of the towers being purchased.
American Tower also expects that TowerCo Ghana will build at least an additional 400 sites for both MTN Ghana and other wireless operators in Ghana over the next five years.
A statement quoted MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Phuthuma Nhleko as saying that “infrastructure sharing makes absolute sense for MTN and was a key aspect of the updated strategy outlined to MTN shareholders across operations.
He said MTN has in the recent past looked at various permutations to reduce their infrastructure roll-out costs as well as on-going cost of operating their passive infrastructure in their key markets, including Ghana.
“Because market conditions in each of the markets are unique, we have resolved to evaluate infrastructure sharing opportunities in a market by market basis.
“The Ghanaian market has presented us with an opportunity to partner with a leading independent global tower operator,” he said.
The statement also quoted ATC Chairman, President and CEO Jim Taiclet as saying “we are pleased to announce the launch of our operations in Ghana in partnership with MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator.”
“Creating an independent tower company in Ghana reflects the execution of our strategy to invest in selected African markets with strong wireless growth potential and a positive investment climate.”
Mr. Taiclet said as a partner, MTN’s stature, vision and operational experience in Africa are highly complementary.
He noted: “ATC believes that combined with our tower leasing expertise, TowerCo Ghana is exceptionally well placed to maximize the market opportunity in Ghana.”
Source: Daily Guide