by Staff Writer
MTN, Africa and the Middle East biggest mobile-phone operator, agreed to increase its stake in tower group IHS in exchange for a stake in Nigeria Tower InterCo, the parent company of INT Tower, which is the telecom tower operator in Nigeria.
The South African-based firm will swap 51% shareholding in Nigeria Tower for an additional stake in IHS Group. This will enable MTN to up its shareholding in IHS Group to about 29% from 15%, enabling the telco to diversify its tower infrastructure exposure.
IHS Group is the largest independent tower operator in Africa, Europe and the Middle East and the tenth largest independent tower company in the world, with over 23,300 towers.
To ensure the continued independent and competitive proposition of IHS Group, MTN’s influence on IHS Group is significantly restricted by a number of limitations including on voting rights, no board representation, and restrictions on access to information.
MTN’s 15% interest in HIS Group was held at a fair value of R11.4 billion on 30 June 2016.
Phuthuma Nhleko, MTN’s executive chairman, said that “the transaction represents a significant step in MTN’s long-standing partnership with IHS.
“It simplifies our ownership structure and diversifies our tower investments across the IHS Group. IHS Group is extremely well positioned for future growth and build-out from 3G upgrades and the move to LTE across its key markets.”