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Helios Towers Tanzania acquires Zantel’s mainland tower portfolio

Press Release – 9 August 2017

Helios Towers Tanzania Ltd (“HTT”), a subsidiary of Helios Towers Africa Ltd (“HTA”), the independent telecoms tower infrastructure company, is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with Zanzibar Telecom PLC (“Zantel”) for the acquisition of all unique sites of their mainland tower portfolio. HTT is also working with Zantel to decommission the duplicate towers under a separate services agreement.

Highlights
• HTT to acquire all mainland unique telecoms tower sites from Zantel;
• Acquisition grows HTT’s telecom tower sites in Tanzania to around 3,700 owned towers;
• Decommissioning of duplicate towers underscores strategy to reduce environmental impact of telecoms services; and
• Further enables HTT to drive cost efficiencies throughout the industry, lower consumer prices and enhance network coverage

This acquisition reaffirms HTA’s commitment to drive increased infrastructure sharing, thereby reducing the costs incurred by mobile operators to deliver vital telecoms services that support economic growth, social development and job creation in local communities.

HTA’s decommissioning of the duplicate towers will also help to reduce the environmental impact of delivering telecoms services as well as improve operational efficiencies.

HTA has built a leading position in Tanzania, one of the largest and fastest growing telecommunications markets in Africa with 37% expected growth by 2020. The acquisition, which has received regulatory approval from the Tanzanian authorities, highlights the economic benefits of a telecoms towers company working with multiple operators to combine multiple legacy networks.

The acquisition will enable HTT’s customers to enhance their network coverage and increase the quality of service provided to the end user, through the additional sites. It will also facilitate lower consumer prices, in addition to the better coverage, whilst reducing capital, maintenance and operating costs for mobile services providers.

Kash Pandya, Chief Executive Officer of HTA, said:

“Helios Towers Africa is proud to announce the successful acquisition of Zantel’s mainland tower portfolio, which enables us to deliver expanded coverage and network capacity in an efficient and cost-effective way. The acquisition and the decommissioning of duplicate infrastructure will help operators meet growing consumer demand whist ensuring network expansion is done in a sustainable and responsible way. We are proud to deliver business excellence to our customers and give them access to the vital telecoms infrastructure needed to facilitate the penetration of communications technology across Africa.”

Sherif El-Barbary, CEO of Zantel said:

“Zantel is delighted to announce the sale of its mainland tower portfolio to Helios Towers. This is part of a wide set of transformational initiatives that Zantel has carried out since its acquisition by Millicom group in 2015. With this sale and ongoing relationship with Helios Towers, Zantel will streamline its infrastructure costs and improve the overall efficiency of the market.”



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Notes to Editors

About Helios Towers Africa

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

• In Tanzania HTA acquired the tower portfolios of Tigo in 2012 and Vodacom in 2014. Through these and the construction of additional multi-tenant towers, Helios Towers Tanzania will own over 3,700 sites following acquisition of 185 Zantel towers and the consolidation of 385.

• 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 and Millicom International Cellular.

• For further information go to https://www.heliostowersafrica.com

About Zanzibar Telecom

• Zantel is the leading telecommunication provider in Zanzibar, as well as a national mobile and fixed data telecommunication company across mainland Tanzania.

• Zantel also owns and operates the EASSy submarine cable landing station in Dar es Salaam, providing wholesale access to international data capacity to Tanzania and other landlocked East African markets.

• In 2015 Zantel’s controlling 85% shareholding was acquired by Millicom International Cellular SA from Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, with the Government of Zanzibar retaining its 15% stake.