Ecobank Facilitates US$202mn Financing For IHS
Ecobank Capital , the investment banking division of pan-African bank Ecobank , has raised a US$202mn syndicated credit facility for IHS Towers , a leading tower infrastructure firm on the continent. This development is a major boost for IHS Towers in its aggressive expansion strategy, but, perhaps more significantly, it is another testament to the growing investor confidence in independent tower sharing services in Africa.
The credit facility will primarily be used to fund part of IHS Towers' acquisition of 1,758 mobile network towers from MTN Group subsidiaries in Cameroon and Côte d'Ivoire in October 2012 ( see our online service, October 16 2012, 'MTN Reaches Tower Deal With IHS'). The facility, which was reportedly oversubscribed, has UBA, Orabank, Bank of Africa and Banque Nationale d'Investissement as participating banks. The proceeds are denominated in local currencies XOF for Côte d'Ivoire and XAF for Cameroon. The Ecobank syndicated credit facility comes after IHS Towers secured a US$125mn equity investment for a 25% stake from Oranje-Nassau Development (OND), a subsidiary of European investment firm Wendel ( see 'Wendel Buys Into IHS', October 31).
IHS Towers' funding deals are a major boost to its operations and aggressive expansion plans. The firm owned 2,951 sites and had another 2,659 under management as of October 2012. IHS Towers plans to double its operations in 2013 and expects to have more than 20,000 towers under ownership or management by 2015, up from its current portfolio of 5,610.
|Room For Growth|
|IHS Towers' Portfolio, October 2012|