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

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

Story

Safaricom launches M-Pesa 'super app'

Safaricom has launched its long-awaited M-Pesa 'super app' with new features like offline mode as well as mini-apps within the app.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Nigeria's Bankly

Nigerian startup Bankly is digitizing cash for people who work in the informal sector and helping unbanked Nigerians save money, invest and gain access to credit and other financial services.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: May 2021

By Omdia Analysts

This month, Omdia's analysts provide context and analysis about new licenses for operators in Ethiopia and Uganda, and Nigeria's 5G rollout plans.

Story

Omdia View: April 2021

By Omdia Analysts

This month, Omdia's analysts provide context around Ethiopia's telecoms licensing process, Millicom's plans to exit Tanzania and Ghana, and Airtel Africa's successful capital raise.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

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

Upcoming events

North Africa Com
July 13-14, 2021
Virtual Event
Asia Tech x Singapore
July 13-16, 2021
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Africa Tech Festival
November 8-12, 2021
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Technologies and business models to connect the next billion

Nearly half the planet remains unconnected at a time when COVID-19 has forced people’s reliance on the Internet and digital technologies higher than ever before. Bridging the digital divide to provide Mobile Internet access – the main driver of digital inclusion – is exceedingly important in the current context. Overcoming this connectivity crisis represents a growth opportunity for Mobile Network Operators (MNO) to expand their services outside of the crowded, highly competitive urban markets.

In this webinar we will focus on solutions that help MNOs close both the coverage gap and the usage gap.

Key topics include:

  • What are the barriers to overcome increased Mobile Internet adoption?
  • How to match deployments cost with expected revenue?
  • Operator success story

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up