* IHS raises $420 mln in equity
* Goldman Sachs among new investors in firm
* Also raises $70 mln in debt from Standard Chartered
DUBAI, March 3 African phone tower group IHS has
raised $420 million in equity and $70 million in debt to fund
its expansion across the continent, the company said in a
statement on Monday.
Lagos-based IHS Group sold the equity to three new investors
- Goldman Sachs, the IFC Global Infrastructure Fund, and
African Infrastructure Investment Managers - plus some to
existing shareholders. IHS did not provide further details.
The firm, which is close to delisting its Nigerian unit
from the Lagos bourse, owns and manages about 10,500
transmitter towers in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast and has
built a further 3,500 for telecommunications operators.
IHS also secured $70 million in senior debt from Standard
Chartered Bank and will use this money to expand its
operations in Zambia. In December, IHS agreed to buy 1,200 tower
sites in Rwanda and Zambia from South Africa's MTN,
with MTN become the anchor tenant on these towers for an initial
Telecommunications operators in Africa, which often struggle
with higher running costs and lower revenue per user than other
regions, try to reduce expenditure by pooling or selling their
IHS will use the money it has raised "to finance
acquisitions, help its customers expand coverage and capacity by
building new towers and continue investing in alternative
energy", the company said in its statement.