Helios Towers to raise new debt

Helios Towers to raise new debt

Published: July 17, 2014

African telecoms tower operator wants acquisition funds for new and existing markets.

Helios Towers, an African telecom tower operator, is to raise fresh debt in newly entered markets and upsize its facilities in existing ones, CFO Andres de Orleans Borbon has told EMEA Finance.

On July 9 the company confirmed that it had acquired 3,100 new towers in four countries from Indian telecoms operator Bharti Airtel, which was looking to pare down debt and reduce the costs of its African business. Although the value of the deal was undisclosed, Orleans Borbon confirmed that press estimates in the region of US$400mn are close to the mark.

A day later, Helios announced that it had raised US$630mn in a new equity fundraising from existing shareholders including Quantum Strategic Partners and the International Finance Corporation, and new partners such as Providence Equity Partners. Now, Orleans Borbon has confirmed that the company is also looking to raise new debt primarily to finance a “pipeline of existing transactions that [we] are working on” – although he added that these would not be on the scale of the Bharti Airtel deal.

Standard Chartered Bank will be handling raising debt in newly entered markets, while Standard Bank will run deals in markets where the company already has a presence.