LAGOS Oct 31 African phone tower group IHS
plans to sell 25 percent stake in its telecom
infrastructure business to European investment firm Wendel
for $125 million to fund expansion, it said through
the stock exchange on Wednesday.
IHS said the equity raised from Wendel will help balance its
capital structure, fund the purchase of additional towers and
make infrastructure improvements throughout Africa and the
"Telecommunications will be at the heart of the African boom
... this transaction with IHS showcases a perfect operational
blend of growth and diversification," Wendel's chairman Frederic
Lemoine said in a joint statement with IHS.
Since December, IHS has raised $500 million in debt with the
aim of growing its tower sites to around 10,000-15,000 towers in
the next five years. It had just 850 a year ago.
Other shareholders in IHS include International Finance
Corporation, South Africa's Investec Asset Management, private
equity firm Emerging Capital Partners, Dutch Development Bank,
and some local Nigerian banks such as Skye Bank.
(Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Tim Cocks)