DUBAI, Aug 7 (Reuters) - The Nigerian affiliate of Etisalat , the Gulf’s biggest telecommunications operator, said on Thursday it would sell 2,136 of its towers to Nigeria’s IHS and lease them back as part of plans to expand its coverage in the country.
The deal, for which a financial value was not given, is expected to close later this year, Etisalat Nigeria said in a statement. Banking sources told Reuters late last year that the deal might raise about $400 million.
Under terms of the agreement, IHS committed to investing a further $100 million in the towers, on areas such as advanced generators and efficient batteries. The deal will leave IHS owning and managing over 6,540 towers in Nigeria.
Building and maintaining mobile communications towers in Africa is typically more expensive than in other regions because of security costs and electricity shortages. That has increasingly prompted operators to sell or lease towers to specialist firms. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Praveen Menon)