Bharti Airtel Ltd has executed a contract with American Tower Corporation (ATC) for the sale of 1,350 of its communications towers in Tanzania. The deal which will be accomplished through its subsidiary company Airtel Tanzania will be completed by the first half of 2016 from which ATC will acquire up to 100 additional sites. Nevertheless, there are certain conditions and regulatory approvals that must be obtained.
According to Bharti, Airtel will still cling onto a lease with a ten-year initial term since it will be the anchor tenant on the portfolio. Tanzania is the ninth African country where Bharti is executing such a deal which the American Tower to the US reveals that it is valued at around $179 million.
Through the proceeds of the sale, Bharti is optimistic of being able to improve its ability to focus on its core business while at the same time facilitate in $10 billion debt used in its African operations in 2010. The company will also probably be able to decrease the on-going capital expenditure on inactive infrastructure.
Bharti has so far sold 8,300 towers across the African continent and another 2,500 towers to Eaton in four countries the likes of Ghana, Uganda and Kenya and an additional 700 towers in Burkina Faso.
The telecommunication owns 13,000 towers in the African continent. However, the latest deal accomplishes the sale of 10,500 of the 13,500 towers. Airtel says that it has been able to collect a total of $1.3 billion from the sale of mobile towers in close to five countries in Africa
Previously Bharti has traded with other companies like Helios Towers Africa and IHS Holding Ltd and to say the least a lot of such deals have taken place in the last two years. Other companies that Bharti Airtel has had exclusive talks with include Orange, which was to sell its businesses in Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville and Sierra Leone in July 2015.
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have not been spared either where the company owns 2,500 and 4,000 towers respectively.