Airtel Africa has sold Airtel Tanzania’s towers to a joint venture of SBA Communications Corporation and Paradigm Infrastructure for $175 million.
SBA Communications is an independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure, while the UK-based Paradigm Infrastructure is focused on developing, owning and operating shared passive wireless infrastructure in selected growth markets.
Airtel Tanzania’s has around 1,400 towers, which form part of the group’s wireless telecommunications infrastructure network. As per the agreement, the group’s subsidiary Airtel Tanzania Plc will continue to develop, maintain and operate its equipment on the towers under a separate lease arrangement with the buyer companies.
The transaction is the latest strategic divestment of Airtel’s tower portfolio as it focuses on an asset-light business model and on its core subscriber-facing operations. Of the entire deal amount, $157.5 million will be payable on the first closing date, which will be in the second half of the group’s current financial year.
Airtel said it will invest around $60 million from the proceeds on network and sales infrastructure in Tanzania and for distribution to the Tanzania government. The rest of the amount will be used to reduce debt at the group level.