Helios Towers Africa raises $630 million in a new equity fundraising

Helios Towers Africa (“HTA”), the leading, independent telecommunications towers company in Africa, announces that it has raised $630 million in new equity resources from existing and new shareholders.

Existing shareholders including: Quantum Strategic Partners, Helios Investment Partners, Albright Capital Management, RIT Capital Partners and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), all added to their current stakes and are now joined by new shareholders Providence Equity Partners and IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund.

HTA also expects to complete negotiations shortly on new and extended debt facilities of over $350 million with a strong syndicate of international and local lending institutions.

Following this latest injection of capital into the business, HTA will have raised over $1.8 billion in external financing since inception in late 2009 to fund acquisitions and organic growth. This capital has enabled HTA to achieve and optimise its growth strategy with regard to the African telecoms towers industry, in which there continues to be huge potential.

The growth drivers underpinning the telecoms towers industry continue to be robust. There is a need for 100,000 Points of Service (“PoS”) in Africa to merely satisfy demand for 2G coverage and associated capacity demand over the next five years. This PoS requirement is underpinned further by the growing demand for 3G and 4G data, which is driving the need for significant additional infrastructure capacity and in-fill across the continent.

As a result of the recently announced transaction with Bharti Airtel, HTA is, on an owned-tower basis, the largest tower company in Africa, with over 7,800 owned towers.

Chuck Green, Chief Executive Officer of HTA, said:

“We are delighted to have received this vote of confidence in our strategy and the growth opportunity available, from both our existing investors and new supporters. The market opportunity is as compelling as ever and this new capital injection will help us to consolidate our pan-African vision and market leading position, even further. We now have over 7,800 owned towers in Africa and the financial firepower to enter more new markets.”

“As long-term investors in the global wireless industry, we are excited about the tremendous growth potential across Africa and HTA’s unique position as the leading, independent telecoms tower company on the continent,” said Dany Rammal, a Managing Director at Providence. 

“We are pleased to partner with Chuck, his team, and the existing investors to add lasting value at the company.”

“We are very pleased to enter into a partnership with HTA and its investors,” said Sujoy Bose, Head of the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund. 

“HTA is well-positioned for growth in several under-penetrated markets in Africa and the Bharti Airtel transaction is another demonstration of the company’s credibility with large operators in the mobile telephone industry.” 

About Helios Towers Africa

         Helios Towers Africa (“HTA”) is the leading, independent telecoms tower company in Africa;

         HTA acquires, builds and manages telecom infrastructure, leasing it to operators in Africa. HTA pioneered the sale-leaseback model in Africa, buying towers held by single operators and leasing them back to the seller and multiple other operators simultaneously;

         Both HTA’s model of shared telecoms infrastructure and its scale, help deliver improved efficiency for operators, reduced costs for users and increased accessibility;

         Post the Bharti Airtel transaction, HTA will own c. 7,800 towers, the largest number held by an independent company focused exclusively on Africa. At present, HTA operates in Ghana, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo; and

         HTA has been operational since 2009. Investors have included: Quantum Strategic Partners, Helios Investment Partners, Albright Capital Management, RIT Capital Partners and the International Finance Corporation

About Providence Equity Partners

Providence Equity Partners is the leading global private equity firm specializing in equity investments in media, communications, education, and information companies around the world. The firm manages funds with over $40 billion in commitments and has invested in more than 140 companies globally since its inception in 1989.  Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI and also has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Beijing, and New Delhi.  Visit www.provequity.com for more information.

About IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund

The IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean (ALAC) Fund is a $1 billion investment fund that invests along with IFC in equity investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.  It provides long-term growth capital for private enterprises in these regions. For more information, please visit www.ifcamc.org.