Helios Towers DRC SARL (HTD), the DRC subsidiary of Helios Towers Africa Ltd. (HTA), has secured US$105-million in funding via its syndicated term loan facility led by the Standard Bank of South Africa, as Initial Mandated Lead Arranger and the German development finance institution DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH as DFI Arranger.
According to Helios Towers Africa the funding will partly finance the acquisition of Bharti Airtel's tower portfolio and fund HTD in terms of growth and operations.
The telecommunications infrastructure firm says that HTD's portfolio in DRC now includes 1,800, with the Bharti Airtel deal expected to add a further 950 towers to the portfolio.
"In addition to funding portfolio expansion the facility will be used to invest in power technologies as HTD invests to reduce its reliance on diesel fuel," the company added.
Kash Pandya, Chief Executive Officer of HTA, said: "Helios Towers Africa is pleased to announce the completion of this financing package in DRC which will help us fund the acquisition of Bharti Airtel's tower portfolio and expand tower sharing solutions across the country. This is a significant step for HTA as it allows us to expand our DRC footprint and strengthen our network coverage for all of our customers. The DRC is a fast-growing market for HTA and with 17 million new subscribers forecast by 2020 we look forward to helping our customers address the infrastructure gap needed to support this phenomenal growth. We are committed to growing our successful independent tower business across the whole of Africa and would like to thank our lenders for their continued support in achieving this ambition."
Nina Triantis, Standard Bank's Global Head of Telecoms and Media, added "Standard Bank is delighted to continue to support the HTA vision, following the closing of the US$95m equivalent financing for Helios Towers Tanzania earlier this year, this time with a new debt facility for HTD, the leading independent tower company in DRC. HTA has built a reputation for operational excellence and client-focused service that makes any investor and customer confident in their ability to deliver on their promises. This transaction demonstrates once again our continued support for infrastructure development in Africa based on our deep on-the-ground expertise in over 20 sub-Saharan countries, extensive sector knowledge and commitment to client service."
In mid-April HTA's Tanzania subsidiary secured US$95-million equivalent upsizing of its facility to invest in local operations and expand its telecommunications towers network.
In June IHS Holding Limited announced the acquisition of Helios Towers Nigeria Ltd.'s 1,211 diversified tower sites across the West African country.