NIGERIA: IHS Raises $490m to Expand Infrastructure

IHS Holding, a Nigerian telecommunications company, has raised a fresh capital of $490 to expand its infrastructure.
The firm was backed by Goldman Sachs, International Finance Corp, Standard Charted bank and Wendel group in the capital raising, the Dow Jones newswire stated.
However, Reuters disclosed that the firm raised $420 million in equity and $70 million in debt. There have also been reports that the firm’s highest shareholder, Wendel group also increased its stake by an additional $152 million.
But the Chairman of Wendel’s Executive Board, Frédéric Lemoine explained:  “We are impressed by IHS’s remarkable development, driven by the expansion of telecommunications in Africa and by the shared infrastructure model. After successfully expanding in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire in 2013 and announcing the acquisition of telecom towers from MTN in Zambia and Rwanda, IHS is continuing to pursue its business development plan.”
He said further: “IHS is demonstrating its ability to attract new world-class investors to support its very robust growth by leveraging its high-quality business model and management.
“Accordingly, we are pleased to further increase our investment in IHS’s capital in line with our strategy to become increasingly exposed to Africa’s expansion.”
He said the interest of his organisation in IHS was clearly validated by the fact that new long-term investors have indicated their interest to invest in the company.
In December, IHS agreed to buy 1,200 tower sites in Rwanda and Zambia from South Africa’s MTN, with MTN become the anchor tenant on these towers for an initial 10 years.
The firm, which is close to delisting its unit from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the end of this month, owns and manages about 10,500 transmitter towers in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast and has built a further 3,500 for telecommunications operators.
IHS was recently was placed on full suspension by the NSE following the scheme of arrangement that would eventually lead to its delisting from the exchange.
According to the NSE, the suspension was effected after the company, through its stockbroker filed a notification that IHS has obtained a court sanction in respect of the scheme of arrangement. With the suspension, the shares of the company can no longer be traded.
IHS Towers is Africa’s leading independent mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider headquartered in Nigeria.

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