Home » Samuel Jonah’s Helios Towers acquires Airtel Africa’s infrastructure company in Madagascar for $51.7 million

Samuel Jonah’s Helios Towers acquires Airtel Africa’s infrastructure company in Madagascar for $51.7 million

by Omokolade Ajayi

Africa-focused independent telecom infrastructure group Helios Tower Plc has successfully acquired Airtel Africa’s infrastructure company in Madagascar in line with its commitment to scale up its presence and provide services to mobile network operators across the continent.

Helios Towers is a leading independent telecom infrastructure group with one of the most extensive tower portfolios in Africa.

Under the leadership of Ghanaian businessman Samuel Jonah, the group owns and operates telecom tower sites in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Ghana, South Africa, Senegal and now in Madagascar.

A statement issued by the London-based holding revealed that the $51.7-million transaction will see the group take control of more than 490 tower sites in Madagascar from Airtel Africa.

Through the acquisition, Helios Towers expects to establish a presence in five new markets across Africa and the Middle East in the next 12 months. The group’s total site count is expected to increase from more than 7,300 towers as reported in Q1 2021 to 15,000.

The group has also announced five new acquisitions. The integration process is presently under way. The group expects to acquire 735 tower sites in Malawi from Airtel Africa to close off Q4 2021.

It also expects to acquire 2,890 tower sites in Oman in a deal valued at $575 million from the Oman Telecommunications Company in Q4 2021 or Q1 2022.

Helios Tower has also entered into an exclusive memorandum of understanding for the acquisition of Airtel Africa’s passive infrastructure assets in Chad and Gabon. The deal is expected to close in or around Q1 2022, subject to obtaining a passive infrastructure license in each jurisdiction and other customary closing conditions.

Since the start of the year, the group’s revenue has increased by six percent from $307.9 million in 2020 to $326 million driven by tower portfolio acquisition and continued organic tenancy growth across the group.

However, operating profit decreased by seven percent from $45.4 million to $42 million due to higher deal costs in the current year in relation to acquisitions, partially offset by continued adjusted EBITDA growth.

Helios Towers is led by Jonah, who was appointed chairman of the board in September 2019.

In addition to his governance role in the group, Jonah is the executive chairman of Jonah Capital, an equity fund based in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

He was previously president of AngloGold Ashanti, an independent gold mining company based in South Africa. In the role, he shared strategic leadership of the company with CEO Bobby Godsell.

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