American Tower picks up 5,500 African market towers for $1.85 billion

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Tower Corporation today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Eaton Towers Holding Limited, which owns and operates approximately 5,500 communications sites across five African markets.

As a result of the transaction, the company also expects to accelerate new build activity across the region due to expanded relationships with multiple key tenants. The total consideration for the transaction, including the Company’s assumption of existing Eaton Towers debt, is approximately $1.85 billion, subject to customary closing adjustments.

Eaton Towers’ sites are in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Burkina Faso and Niger.

Eaton Towers was co-founded in 2009 by current CEO, Terry Rhodes. Alongside the majority shareholder, Capital International, investors include Development Partners International, Ethos and Standard Chartered.

The acquisition increases American Tower’s global presence to over 175,000 sites.

Less than a year ago, According to Bloomberg, Eaton scrapped plans for an initial public offering in London and Johannesburg, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

The company, partly owned by Ethos Private Equity Pty Ltd. and Development Partners International, was seeking a valuation of about $2 billion to fund its own expansion plans, they said.

Jim Taiclet, American Tower’s CEO stated, “This transaction will significantly augment our existing footprint in Africa and positions ATC to take even better advantage of the growth opportunity in the region as 4G mobile data technology is deployed to serve millions of Africans over the coming years.”

The assets are expected to generate approximately $260 million in property revenue and approximately $165 million in gross margin, at current exchange rates, in their first full year in American Tower’s portfolio. The transaction is anticipated to be immediately accretive to Consolidated AFFO per Share and is expected to close by the end of 2019.

Last May, American Tower acquired 723 towers from Telkom Kenya.