Nigerian based mobile tower company IHS Towers has raised $490 million to fund its expansion across the continent as international investors join the booming African mobile industry.
Mobile adoption driving increased demand for towers
IHS owns and manages some 10,500 transmitter towers in Nigeria as well as Cameroon and Ivory Coast, and has built a further 3,500 for telecommunications operators. IHS has grown rapidly in the past two years to become the largest owner and manager of telecom towers in Africa, with a portfolio of more than 10,000 sites across Nigeria and six other countries, attracting private equity investors and Asian sovereign wealth funds. The company has said it aims to double its portfolio to 20,000 towers, while also expanding geographically across Africa.
According to the FT, IHS has raised $420 million in equity and $70 million in debt for its expansion plans funded by backers including Goldman Sachs who want to join the race to invest in African mobile.
It was also revealed that IHS secured the $70 million in senior debt from Standard Chartered Bank and plans to use the money to expand its operations in Zambia.