Bharti Airtel has entered into an agreement with American Tower Corporation (ATC) for the sale of about 1,350 mobile towers in East African country Tanzania.
Under the agreement, ATC may acquire up to approximately 100 additional sites currently in development for an additional consideration, Airtel said in a BSE filing, without disclosing the financial details of the transaction.
“The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals,” Airtel said.
Airtel will be the anchor tenant on the portfolio under a lease with a ten-year initial term, it said.
“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,” Bharti Airtel MD and CEO (Africa) Christian de Faria said.
“Airtel remains committed to Tanzania and will continue to invest in its operations and serve customers with world-class services,” the official said.
Hal Hess, EVP and President, EMEA, of American Tower 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”.
The release further said that 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.