Airtel’s deal to sell their towers in Malawi to Eaton Towers has timed out due to slow progress toward close. Contrary to some reports in the press suggesting that the entire 3,500 Eaton-Airtel tower deal had been cancelled, the deal is off only in Malawi, the smallest tower portfolio of the six countries in which Airtel had agreed to sell towers to Eaton.
Eaton has already closed transactions to acquire over 2,000 Airtel towers in Ghana, Uganda and Kenya. A further transaction in Burkina Faso may close as soon as next week. Regulatory discussions have delayed Eaton and Airtel’s proposed transaction in Niger.
To date, Airtel has closed tower transactions in seven African countries: Nigeria (with American Tower), Rwanda and Zambia (with IHS), Ghana, Uganda and Kenya (with Eaton) and Congo Brazzaville (with Helios Towers Africa).
Malawi is the fourth country in which Airtel has cancelled their tower transaction, although Airtel are back at the negotiating table to discuss previously cancelled tower transactions in Tanzania, Chad and DRC, as well as a potential deal in Gabon.
Airtel seem likely retain their towers in Sierra Leone, Madagascar and the Seychelles.