Atlas Towers sells South African unit to investor SBA

Atlas Tower Pty Ltd is selling its South African tower portfolio to shareholder SBA Communications Corp for R2 billion ($140 million).

The US company will dispose of more than 900 towers in Africa’s most industrialized economy to SBA, Atlas chief executive officer Nathan Foster said in an interview in Johannesburg. The agreed price takes account of previous investments made by the buyer into Atlas’s business, he said.

“This will be the first African-focused sale for Atlas Towers,” the CEO said.

Rising demand for high-speed internet across Africa has made the tower industry a hotbed for deal making, with wireless carriers looking to sell out to specialist providers. South Africa is seen as a particularly attractive market, as the country is looking to start 5G services over the next two years.

Helios Towers Ltd raised $364 million in a London share sale earlier this month as investors looked to capitalize on the growth of tower services in countries such as Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa.

American Tower Corp agreed to buy Eaton Towers Ltd for about $1.85 billion in May to combine resources on the continent.


Read: Helios Towers IPO likely to price at bottom end of range

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Atlas Towers sells South African unit to investor SBA