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HT DRC Infraco SARL secures US$105 million funding facility from Standard Bank Group and DEG

Press Release – 13 July 2016

HT DRC Infraco SARL (“HTD”), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) subsidiary of Helios Towers Africa Ltd (“HTA”), is pleased to announce the successful completion of a US$105 million upsizing of its syndicated term loan facility led by The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited as Initial Mandated Lead Arranger and the German development finance institution DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH as DFI Arranger.

Highlights include:

• The funding facility will partly finance both the acquisition of Bharti Airtel’s tower portfolio and fund the organic growth and operational excellence program of HTD across the country;

• HTD’s portfolio in DRC includes now c.1,800 towers with a growing pipeline of new builds for multiple operators;

• In addition to funding portfolio expansion the facility will be used to invest in power technologies as HTD invests to reduce its reliance on diesel fuel.

Since 2010, HTD has pioneered the independent TowerCo model in DRC through commercialising the ex-Tigo towers and building out further towers to which it will add c.950 towers as a result of the Bharti Airtel tower transaction. This acquisition will ensure HTD’s leading position in the DRC, one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in Africa. The continued support of HTD’s lending syndicate formed from both international financial institutions and international development agencies highlights the strong willingness to invest in African telecoms infrastructure and is testament to the achievements of the business over the last five years.

HTD will continue to focus on driving infrastructure sharing, delivering customer service excellence and expanding their network to keep pace with market demands as they look to enable the delivery of next generation telecommunication services. Through this focus, HTD will continue to allow their customers to preserve capital and reduce their operating costs whilst benefiting the country as a whole by preventing the proliferation of duplicate towers through infrastructure sharing.

Kash Pandya, Chief Executive Officer of HTA, said:

“Helios Towers Africa is pleased to announce the completion of this financing package in DRC which will help us fund the acquisition of Bharti Airtel’s tower portfolio and expand tower sharing solutions across the country. This is a significant step for HTA as it allows us to expand our DRC footprint and strengthen our network coverage for all of our customers. The DRC is a fast-growing market for HTA and with 17 million new subscribes forecast by 2020 we look forward to helping our customers address the infrastructure gap needed to support this phenomenal growth. We are committed to growing our successful independent tower business across the whole of Africa and would like to thank our lenders for their continued support in achieving this ambition.”

Nina Triantis, Standard Bank’s Global Head of Telecoms and Media, added

“Standard Bank is delighted to continue to support the HTA vision, following the closing of the US$95m equivalent financing for Helios Towers Tanzania earlier this year, this time with a new debt facility for HTD, the leading independent tower company in DRC. HTA has built a reputation for operational excellence and client-focused service that makes any investor and customer confident in their ability to deliver on their promises. This transaction demonstrates once again our continued support for infrastructure development in Africa based on our deep on-the-ground expertise in over 20 sub-Saharan countries, extensive sector knowledge and commitment to client service.”



For further information, please contact:

Liz Morley / Elizabeth Snow (Media contact for Helios Towers Africa)
+44 (0) 20 3772 2557

FTI Consulting (Media contact for Standard Bank Group)
Riz Issa/Kuldeep Mehmi
+44 (0)20 3727 1262/1722


Notes to Editors:

About Helios Towers Africa and HT DRC Infraco SARL

• Helios Towers Africa is a leading independent tower company in Africa, having established one of Africa’s most extensive tower networks with c.6,500 towers in four markets. HTA builds and manages telecoms infrastructure, leasing it to operators across the continent.

• The company pioneered the sale-leaseback model in Africa, buying towers that were held by single operators and leasing them back to the seller and other operators. Allowing wireless operators to outsource non-core tower-related activities enabling them to focus their capital and managerial resources on providing higher quality services more cost-effectively.

• Investors in HTA include: Helios Investment Partners, Quantum Strategic Partners, Albright Capital Management LLC, RIT Capital Partners Plc, the International Finance Corporation, Yield Capital Partners and Millicom International Cellular.

• HT DRC Infraco SARL was launched in December 2010 when HTA purchased and leased-back 510 towers to mobile operator Tigo DRC.

• For further information go to www.heliostowersafrica.com

About Standard Bank South Africa

Standard Bank South Africa is the largest operating entity of Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets. Standard Bank Group reported total assets of R1,98 trillion (about USD128 billion) at 31 December 2015, while its market capitalisation was R184 billion (about USD11,8 billion).
In South Africa, Standard Bank provides the full spectrum of financial services. Its Corporate & Investment Banking division serves a wide range of requirements for banking, finance, trading, investment, risk management and advisory services. The Corporate and Investment Banking division delivers this comprehensive range of products and services relating to: investment banking; global markets; and global transactional products and services.

Standard Bank’s corporate & investment banking expertise is focused on industry sectors that are most relevant to emerging markets. It has strong offerings in mining and metals; oil, gas and renewables; power and infrastructure; agribusiness; telecommunications and media; and financial institutions.

Standard Bank’s personal & business banking offers banking and other financial services to individuals and small-to-medium enterprises. Standard Bank has more than 647 branches and over 7 270 ATMs in South Africa. Independent surveys of customer satisfaction consistently place Standard Bank at or near the top of their rankings.

Standard Bank’s personal & business banking products include mortgage lending, instalment sale and finance leases, card products, transaction and lending products, and bancassurance.

For further information go to www.standardbank.co.za/cib


About DEG

DEG is a reliable partner for private companies investing in developing and emerging-market countries. For more than 50 years, we have been promoting sustainable development that creates jobs, better living conditions and new prospects.

We are committed to the long-term success of our customers: Therefore we do not only provide long-term capital, but also individual advice and support. With a portfolio of around 8 billion euros in more than 80 countries, we are one of Europe’s largest development finance institutions for the private sector.

More information: www.deginvest.de