Amer­i­can Tower buys Ea­ton, JV stakes from MTN


AMER­I­CAN Tower, which owns and man­ages about 177,000 mo­bile tow­ers in mul­ti­ple mar­kets around the world, has strength­ened its port­fo­lio in Africa with the com­ple­tion of its Ea­ton Tow­ers ac­qui­si­tion and a new deal to take con­trol of joint ven­ture as­sets that had been co-owned with net­work op­er­a­tor MTN.

The $1.85bn deal to ac­quire Ea­ton Tow­ers, which was first an­nounced in May 2019, adds 5,700 sites in five mar­kets (Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Burk­ina Faso and Niger) to its African port­fo­lio, ac­cord­ing to Con­nect­ing Africa.

The deal strength­ens Amer­i­can Tower’s re­la­tion­ship with key ma­jor mo­bile op­er­a­tors in Africa, in­clud­ing Air­tel, or­ange, MTN and Vo­da­com, that lease space on the tow­ers for their ra­dio ac­cess net­work equip­ment de­ploy­ments.

The $52m agree­ment to ac­quire MTN’S mi­nor­ity stakes in two joint ven­tures, one in Ghana and the other in Uganda, will give Amer­i­can Tower full con­trol over the tower as­sets in those coun­tries, and en­ables the tow­ers spe­cial­ist to man­age them along­side the as­sets ac­quired from Ea­ton.

The sale of the stakes is ex­pected to be com­pleted dur­ing the first quar­ter of this year.

The joint ven­ture in Ghana, called Tow­erco Ghana, was set up in 2010, with MTN hold­ing a 49 per cent stake.

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