IHS won the award for its US$284 million acquisition of 1,758 mobile network towers in Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon from MTN Group in October 2012. A member of the independent panel of judges who selected the winners said; “this deal enabled IHS to consolidate its position as a first tier player on the competitive African tower stage.”
Under the acquisition terms, MTN becomes the anchor tenant on towers acquired by IHS through a sale- and -leaseback agreement. IHS will manage the mobile network towers and other passive infrastructure. The agreement also included a commitment between the parties for IHS to rollout a build-to-suit programme to support MTN’s future tower requirements in both countries.
“The award comes after another strong year for IHS,” said Issam Darwish, CEO of IHS Africa. “We now have over 5,000 towers under management and have raised over $700 million to support our growth across Africa and the Middle East. We are delighted to receive this award and for the team to be recognized for its hard work and dedication to delivering the best value for leading mobile operators in the region.”
In a separate interview with Reuters, Darwish said IHS was looking at acquisitions in another six countries on the continent, probably in West or East Africa “Hopefully we can do another 2-3 this year. We plan to own 20,000 sites within the next four years.”