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.


African Towers Company Eaton Sells for $1.85B

Article Image
African mobile masts specialist Eaton Towers, which last year postponed its plans for an IPO, has agreed to be acquired by American Tower Corp. (ATC) in a deal valued at US$1.85 billion.

Eaton, which was founded in 2009, owns and operates about 5,500 communications sites across five African markets -- Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Burkina Faso and Niger. It leases space and power at its sites to mobile operator and data services companies, typically under ten-year agreements. Its customers include Bharti Airtel, MTN, Vodafone and Orange.

It says it is the only tower company in Burkina Faso and Niger and the market leader by number of towers in Kenya.

The company's co-founder and CEO, Terry Rhodes, noted: "To grow from an idea of a few people ten years ago to become a leader in African shared telecoms infrastructure with approximate annual revenue and EBITDA of $250 million and $150 million respectively, and bottom-line profitability, is a unique achievement. We will work closely with ATC to ensure customers throughout our markets continue to receive outstanding levels of service. I would personally like to congratulate all 200 of our people and am very pleased that our shareholders have agreed to share the success with all our staff."

Eaton is owned by a number of financial firms -- Capital International, Development Partners International, Ethos Private Equity and Standard Chartered private Equity -- which have agreed the sale. The deal should close before the end of 2019.

Eaton Towers CEO Terry Rhodes.
Eaton Towers CEO Terry Rhodes.

American Tower says it "expects to accelerate new build activity across the region due to expanded relationships with multiple key tenants."

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."

In Africa, American Tower has infrastructure in a number of key markets (the site counts reflect the number of assets at the time of entry into the market):

  • Kenya entered 2018 with more than 700 sites
  • Nigeria -- entered 2015 with about 4,700 sites
  • Uganda -- entered 2012 with more than 1,100 sites
  • Ghana -- entered 2011 with more than 1,900 sites
  • South Africa -- entered 2011 with more than 1,900 sites

American Tower says that once the deal is closed, it expects the Eaton assets to generate about $260 million in property revenues in the first year of ownership and boost the company's earnings.

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

Innovation hub


Orange Ventures, Digital Africa promise more funding for startups

Orange Ventures and Digital Africa are teaming up to invest more in tech startups in Africa and the Middle East through Digital Africa's Fuz program and the Orange Digital Center network.


Hot startup of the month: Rwanda's Ampersand

Connecting Africa's hot startup this month is Rwanda's Ampersand, which designs, builds, and manufactures electric motorcycles and battery packs for motorcycle taxis.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives


Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: April 2024

By Omdia Analysts

April 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included a license for Starlink in Ghana, new mobile termination rates in Ethiopia, and 6G trials in Bahrain – that and more in the latest Omdia View.


Leveraging agritech to build resilience against climate change

By Francis Hook

ICT analyst Francis Hook discusses agritech in Africa and how the agricultural sector is using technology to build resilience against the negative effects of climate change and to ensure food security.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id test-002