Country’s largest service provider Bharti Airtel has completed the sale of mobile towers in five countries in Africa for $1.3 billion, which will be used for reducing debt.
It is also in the process of selling tower assets in six other countries in Africa.
“As on date, we have completed the sale transactions in five countries while in two, the agreements have lapsed. For the balance six, the process is on and we hope to have the finality in the coming few months,” the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The total proceeds from transactions already concluded are over $1.3 billion, which would be utilised for reducing debt of the company.
Airtel is in the process of divesting 15,000 towers in 13 countries in Africa to different companies and it has operations across 17 countries in Africa.
Last month, Bharti Airtel terminated its agreement with Helios Towers Africa (HTA) for sale of tower assets in Tanzania and Tchad signed last year has been terminated.
In July last year, the company had announced that it would divest 3,100 telecom tower assets to Helios Towers Africa for sale in four countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Tcad and Tanzania. The divestment would expand HTA’s tower coverage in Africa to over 7,800 owned towers. Both decided to terminate the deal in Tanzania and Tchad which had around 800 towers, while the deal for Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo remain.
Bharti Airtel’s Africa business is running into losses since the company entered Africa in 2010. For the fourth quarter ended March 31, its Africa revenue declined 12.6% on-year while net loss widened to $183 million. The company’s net debt at the end of financial year 2014-15 stood at over $10.67 billion.