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African ‘towercos’, like IHS & Helios, take to the skies

By Kévin Poireault
Posted on Tuesday, 23 November 2021 10:09

Maintenance work on a telecom tower in Ethiopia. Helios Towers/2020.

Operators are quickly outsourcing their equipment so that they can concentrate on services, which is their core business. This is a godsend for telecom infrastructure providers, as they have finally managed to convince the markets that their activities on the continent are profitable.

The African telecom world has undergone a small revolution. On 4 October 2021, IHS Towers, Africa’s first telecom infrastructure provider (‘towerco’), was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its objective is to raise around $380m in net proceeds and reach a valuation of more than $7bn, including debt. This would make it the largest ever listing for an African company.

Portfolio diversification