Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

4G/5G

Helios Towers Plans IPO

Article Image
Helios Towers, which owns and manages mobile tower infrastructure in four sub-Saharan markets, has announced plans to float about 25% of its shares on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges in a move that should value the company at more than US$2 billion.

The IPO, which is intended to enable existing shareholders such as Soros Fund Management, Helios Investment Partners, Millicom Holding and Bharti Airtel International to get a partial return on their investments, is set to take place as soon as next month, the company announced in a document published on its website.

The company has more than 6,500 towers in total, which are then used by multiple mobile operators to house their active radio access network equipment -- the company boasts almost 13,000 "tenancies" across its portfolio, an average of two paying customers per tower. It owns and operates more tower sites than any other operator in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Congo Brazzaville, as well as being a significant player in Ghana.

The company expects demand for its services to increase in the coming years as the number of mobile subscribers is expected to grow in each of its active markets and mobile data usage is set to grow significantly. It also notes that the regulatory environments in its markets encourage mobile network expansion and tower infrastructure sharing amongst the mobile operators.

In 2017 Helios Towers reported a 22% year-on-year increase in revenues to $345 million and adjusted EBITDA of $146 million, up by 39% from a year earlier. In announcing its full-year financials recently, the company noted that it had "strong revenue growth driven by increased amendment and standard colocations and build-to-suit towers. We also significantly enhanced our margin by focusing on efficiencies in our operations and investment in power supply innovation. In the year, 249 further locations benefitted from solar panel investment, 375 towers were connected to the grid and hybrid power solutions were installed at a further 331 sites."

In announcing those results on February 12, CEO Kash Pandya noted: "As we move into 2018, we take forward a business that is robust, lean and focused, and well positioned to continue delivering for our customers, employees and investors. Our agenda remains clear and focused: to deliver more of the same. We will continue to mine the considerable potential for growth, in markets that are not only under-penetrated but that have a rich future of enhanced services and technologies to come. We will deliver further efficiencies that play straight to the bottom line. Most importantly we will continue to listen to our customers, and by focusing on their needs, continue to deliver consistently high quality services that add value to their businesses."

Helios Towers CEO Kash Pandya: 'We will continue to mine the considerable potential for growth, in markets that are not only under-penetrated but that have a rich future of enhanced services and technologies to come.'
Helios Towers CEO Kash Pandya: "We will continue to mine the considerable potential for growth, in markets that are not only under-penetrated but that have a rich future of enhanced services and technologies to come."

Helios isn't the only tower company in Africa seeking to raise money from the public markets this year, according to Bloomberg, as IHS Towers and Eaton Towers are also considering IPOs.

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading for Connecting Africa.

Innovation hub

Story

Moya super app takes aim at SA fintech market

Super app Moya's fintech platform, MoyaPay, aims to be South Africa's most widely used mobile money payments platform.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Kenya's Shamba Pride

This month's hot startup, Shamba Pride, wants to revolutionize the rural agricultural trade ecosystem in Kenya by transforming agro-dealers into franchised 'DigiShops.'

More Innovation hub

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: April 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia View highlights indicate a shift to digital transformation and operational consolidation to maximize return on investments.

Story

Omdia View: March 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia summary of the biggest stories in the Middle East and Africa focuses on SA's spectrum auction and new submarine cables landing in Kenya and Togo.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Latest video

More videos

Archived webinars

Boosting Customer Experience in the Digital Age

From the first interaction to the last payment: convert leads into clients, drive loyalty and grow your bottom line.

The digital age has ushered in a new era of customer engagement. Consumer demands and expectations are higher than ever – where an affordable but seamless online experience is now the norm.

At a time when competition for your customers is fierce, ensuring a client journey that is tailored to their needs has never been more important. The ability to build these bespoke offerings starts with understanding, and that understanding is built on data.

This webinar will explore how gathering insight is key to growing and retaining a strong customer base; we’ll unpack how CRM platforms, mobile payment, lead capture, and online marketing are key factors in building a successful 21st Century digital business.

  • Customer Experience – understanding consumer expectations of today
  • What easy steps can you take to provide a complete, immersive digital customer experience?
  • How to leverage modern digital tools to build customer loyalty

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up