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IHS completes HTN tower acquisition in Nigeria

IHS completes HTN tower acquisition in Nigeria.

Mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider IHS Holding Limited (IHS) has completed the acquisition of Helios Towers Nigeria Limited's 1,211 diversified tower sites throughout Nigeria.

The companies describe the transaction, first announced on 10 March 2016, as the first in-market consolidation in Africa.

Under the terms of the transaction, IHS acquired the entire issued share capital of HTN and now has full operational control of the underlying business.

In a statement IHS confirms that business will continue as usual for HTN's towers which will be seamlessly integrated into the IHS network and connected to IHS's network operating centre.

IHS says that it is committed to maintaining HTN's existing relationship and position with its bondholders and a meeting of bondholders held on 22 April 2016 agreed to waive any redemption rights which may have arisen in respect to the change of control.

"IHS believes the benefits of the transaction extend to all stakeholders as there are meaningful synergies that will be derived from the transaction given a considerable part of the IHS portfolio is located in Nigeria," the company stated.

Inder Bajaj, Chief Executive Officer of HTN, said: "IHS has a proven track record in telecoms infrastructure services and is the natural buyer of our business. We strongly believe their deep knowledge and extensive experience in the sector will help to continue the strong level of customer service achieved by HTN."

Issam Darwish, Executive Vice Chairman & Group Chief Executive Officer of IHS, said: "The completion of this transaction is significant in that it combines Africa's two original tower companies and will enable us to strengthen our service offering to our customers while focusing on their needs. We remain committed to the Nigerian tower market and this transaction provides IHS the opportunity to optimise a larger portfolio through innovative green energy solutions and delivery of market leading quality of service."

According to the companies the transaction has led to the creation of technical and engineering employment opportunities. "Over 95% of IHS's employees are African and IHS employs close to 40,000 people directly and indirectly through its exclusive subcontractors," the statement reads.

Shortly after the announcement of its intended acquisition, IHS Group executive committee member, founding partner and deputy CEO of IHS Nigeria Mohamad Darwish said the acquisition will increase the number of towers under their management and put them in a healthier financial position.

Darwish also believes the deal will benefit operators including MTN, Airtel and Etisalat.

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