African Phone-Tower Operator Helios Towers Snaps Up Rival SA Towers

This partnership will enable Helios Towers to rapidly scale its South Africa operations, leveraging off SA Towers.

Telecommunications tower. Mobile phone base station
Telecommunications tower. Mobile phone base station (Photo Credit:

Helios Towers, the independent telecoms tower infrastructure company, has bought fellow South African company SA Towers for an undisclosed sum.

The African phone-tower operator said on Friday it will acquire a controlling interest in the business of SA Towers and fund the business’s future rollout.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with an experienced and well-funded tower operator such as Helios Towers. Together with the MNOs, whose relationships with SA Towers we value highly, we have ambitious expansion plans in order to meet the burgeoning demand for high-quality tower infrastructure by the MNOs fuelled by their desire to meet the needs of their customers,” said Rico Marx, co-founder and director of SA Towers added:

“In partnership with Helios Towers, we will be able to accelerate the development of this tower pipeline. We look forward to working within the Helios Towers’ team to support the forecasted strong growth of mobile networks of the MNOs in South Africa for the coming years.”

SA Towers was launched in 2016 by local entrepreneurs Rico Marx and Harm Kelderman, backed by Africa Property Partners, a real estate private investment business.

It has built strong relationships with all the Mobile Network Operators in the South African market and established a team of professionals that worked diligently to build a pipeline of potential tower sites on more than 500 urban locations across the country, ready to be built or in the process of being permitted.

This investment will accelerate Helios Towers’ entry into South Africa. As part of the agreement, the group will invest into the platform and provide management expertise to accelerate the conversion of the pipeline.

SA Towers’ team will integrate into the Helios Towers organisation and manage the day-to-day South African tower operations, bringing to bear their significant knowledge of the market and local customer relationships.

Helios Towers South Africa will fund and support the build out and expansion of the pipeline of permitted locations.

This partnership will enable Helios Towers to rapidly scale its South Africa operations, leveraging off SA Towers.

“We are thrilled to announce this acquisition of SA Towers’ business, which will be made via our new partnership with Vulatel. It is consistent with our strategy of entering new markets in sub-Saharan Africa to further expand our geographic footprint. This is an innovative way of entering a new market by partnering with local entrepreneurs to create significant value for all stakeholders,” said Kash Pandya, CEO of Helios Towers.

“We think the combination of Helios Towers’ expertise in tower infrastructure management and strong balance sheet with SA Towers’ entrepreneurial management team, tower pipeline and local relationships, puts HTSA into an ideal position to meet the needs of the MNOs and their customers in South Africa.” 

It is Helios Towers’ first investment in the country following the establishment of its partnership with Vulatel, announced on 14 January 2019.

The African phone-tower operator said it has entered into an agreement with South Africa’s Vulatel.


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