IFC, a member of the World Bank Group has commitment of $200 million to help IHS Nigeria expand its tower portfolio and create mobile phone infrastructure that will improve mobile call service quality for operators and consumers in Nigeria. IFC’s financing is part of a $600m debt package raised by IHS from international and local lenders.
The transaction includes $50 million from IFC’s own account, $112.5 million from ICBC, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and $37.5 million through the IFC Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program, a new syndications platform that offers institutional investors the ability to passively participate in IFC’s future senior loan portfolio. ICBC is China’s and the world’s largest bank by assets.
In a statement, Issam Darwish, CEO and Executive Vice Chairman of IHS Holding Limited, said, “The IHS mission is to provide telecommunications infrastructure to mobile network operators in Africa that enables the widest, most efficient and reliable networks, supporting the economic development of the region. We are constantly developing new, efficient and effective technologies and rolling out passive network to make that happen. Partnering with IFC has helped us access funding from a broader range of sources that will help us pursue our goal of building the infrastructure needed for Nigeria’s long-term growth.”
IHS will use the funds to acquire approximately 2,200 tower sites from Etisalat Nigeria and to construct additional Build-to-Suit towers. The expansion will improve network congestion, reduce operating costs, and increase service coverage for the mobile operators.