Africa’s biggest mobile network MTN is selling all its Nigerian cell towers to infrastructure company IHS. MTN says it has reached an agreement in principle to sell 9,151 of its Nigerian towers to IHS Holding Limited. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. The move comes as MTN looks to drive down its operating costs, improve its network efficiencies and expand its voice and data capacity.
MTN and IHS issued a joint statement: “Under the terms of the transaction and subject to requisite regulatory approvals, the 9,151 towers will be transferred to a new company which will be owned jointly by MTN and HIS. IHS will have full operational control of the underlying business. The new towers company will market independent infrastructure sharing services to other mobile operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Nigeria.” As part of the MTN-IHS deal, $500 million is expected to be pumped into tower upgrades and a maintenance programme over four years.