Bharti Airtel Monday entered into an agreement with American Tower Corporation for the sale of around 1,350 of its communications towers in Tanzania. Under the agreement, American Tower may acquire up to 100 additional sites currently in development for an additional consideration.
Airtel will be the anchor tenant on the portfolio under a lease with a ten-year initial term, the official statement said.
“We are extremely pleased to announce our entry into Tanzania and expand our partnership with Airtel, one of the world’s leading multinational network operators,” said Hal Hess, EVP and President, EMEA, of American Tower.
The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
“We are pleased to strengthen our partnership with American Tower in Africa. The proposed transaction is a continuation of our stated philosophy of divesting passive infrastructure assets and promoting sharing of towers to enhance operational efficiencies that will further the overall growth of telecom services,” Christian de Faria, MD & CEO (Africa), Bharti Airtel, said in the joint statement.
The tower sale agreements allow Airtel to focus on its core business and customers, besides helping deleverage through debt reduction, and significantly reducing the on-going capital expenditure on passive infrastructure.