African Telecom Towers Firm IHS to Buy Nigerian Rival

Pan-African mobile telecoms infrastructure group IHS has agreed to buy Nigerian rival Helios Towers Nigeria (HTN) for an undisclosed sum, its chief executive has said.

Issam Darwis, who founded IHS, said Africa's largest tower company, which builds and leases mobile telecoms towers in five countries across the continent, will acquire 1,211 towers spread across 34 of Nigeria's 36 states.

IHS will acquire the entire issued share capital of HTN, IHS said in a statement.

"IHS will have full operational control of the underlying business and will market independent infrastructure sharing services to mobile network operators and internet service providers in Nigeria," it said.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016, it said.

IHS already has around 23,000 towers across Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Zambia and Rwanda. It has around 15,000 towers in Nigeria, its biggest market and Africa's most populace nation.

"We remain committed to the Nigerian tower market where coverage levels are yet to mature and explosive data growth continues," Darwis said. "This is a statement of how confident we are in the Nigerian economy."