MTN has plans to sell some of its shares in its Nigerian mobile tower network by the end of this year; the shares are worth more than $1 billion.
“There is a bidding process going on, so they’re busy doing a due diligence on us, on our towers, our processes and we’re doing due diligence on them, if they’re the right company,” said Andrew Bing, chief financial officer of MTN’s Nigerian unit. “During this year that process will then come to a conclusion where there will be a financial bid and a transfer of towers.”
Carriers in Africa are offloading the assets, which cost more to run on much of the continent than in some other parts of the world because of the need for backup generators and batteries to guard against power failures.
Towers and the infrastructure that accompanies them can account for more than 60 percent of the expense to build a mobile network, according to data from IHS Holding Ltd., a telecommunications infrastructure company.
Having bout 11,000 towers, the telecommunications company has not yet decided on the shares it will retain in its Nigerian tower network.