Nigerian-based mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider for Africa and the Middle East, IHS Towers has raised $522 million in debt and equity to fuel its growth.
The funding round was led by new and IHS Towers existing lenders and shareholders putting the firm’s total money raised to over $1 billion in just one year.
From the $522 million of new capital raised $280 million is in debt while $242 million is in equity. The new debt finance of $280 million was led by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The new equity finance of $100 million was from new investors led by a leading Asian sovereign wealth fund while the rest, $142 million, was raised from IHS Towers existing investors.
The investment represents Africa’s largest capital expansion initiatives in the past 12 months. Europe’s leading investors, Wendel completed an investment into the company earlier in the year and also participated in the round.
According to IHS, the cash will be used to construct more than 1,000 build-to-suit (BTS) towers in Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon, invest in solar and energy efficiency solutions, and to fund further expansion into new markets.
Issam Darwish, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, IHS Towers, said, ” We are now uniquely positioned to expand into new markets whilst supporting our current operations in Nigeria, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire. Over the last two years we have tripled our towers under management across Africa to 8,500. This new financing round is critical to our aim to increase the portfolio to 20,000 towers under management, and will underpin our value creation strategy in the years to come.”
IHS Towers currently has 8,500 towers in its tower portfolio and has built over 3,000 for its clients.