Airtel Set To Close USD 186m Eaton Kenya Tower Deal

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Bharti Airtel is set to close a USD 186 million deal reached in 2014 with Eaton for the sale of its 1,100 towers in Kenya.

A source close to the transaction revealed that the firm is expected to invest the money in its operations in Kenya, where it has struggled to make money in the face of intense competition.

The sale agreement was signed in September 2014 for 3,500 towers in Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania.

The proceeds were to be used to settle debts and raise money to turn around its loss-making business in the continent.

Airtel has already sold its towers in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda and Congo Brazzaville for USD 1.3 billion.

Airtel Africa, Executive Director, Christophe Soulet, said it is selling assets to reposition itself, although it is being affected by huge currency depreciation in Southern, West and East Africa. He declined to comment on when the deal will be sealed.

It will be recalled that in November 2014, American Tower acquired 4,700 communications sites in Nigeria from Bharti Airtel. In December 2014, Bharti Airtel sealed a deal to divest 1,100 telecoms towers in Rwanda and Zambia to IHS Holdings. Airtel will sell and lease back towers in both countries under a ten-year, renewable contract.

Meanwhile, agreements to sell towers in Tanzania and Chad to Helios Towers Africa were terminated in June, but discussions are back on.



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