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Overview

IHS is one of the largest independent owners, operators and developers of shared telecommunications infrastructure in the world. We provide mission-critical telecommunications infrastructure to our customers, most of who are leading MNOs, who in turn provide wireless voice and data services to their end users.

In doing so, we facilitate mobile communications coverage for almost 600 million people (according to World Bank data) across our footprint, supporting economies to implement nationwide digital agendas. We operate over 30,200 towers across five countries in Africa, three countries in Latin America and one country in the Middle East. We are the largest tower operator in six of the nine markets in which we operate, and the only independent tower operator of scale in five of these markets.

As one of the pioneers of the tower infrastructure industry in Africa in 2001, we have worked with our customers to develop the experience, insight and the deep operational talent needed to operate and grow a successful business in our sector. Today, we are implementing those learnings in multiple markets. 

Our successful performance is the result of many years of building, acquiring, operating, managing, and owning telecommunications infrastructure in emerging market environments. We are confident that we have a well-defined growth strategy designed to grow in existing markets with our existing customer base and, given the significant global emerging market opportunities in telecommunications infrastructure, enter carefully selected growth-oriented markets with compelling underlying fundamentals.

Our markets provide strong fundamentals for future growth and we hold the leading position in many of the markets in which we operate. We believe this puts us in the ideal position to capitalize on future growth opportunities across our footprint and throughout the emerging markets.

IHS Towers is supported by a group of blue-chip international investors that have invested billions of dollars of equity to fund our current and future growth initiatives (see Our Shareholders). Debt securities investors, and lending from our global financing institution partners, compliments our overall capital structure. We seek to provide all our stakeholders with the benefits of emerging markets growth, coupled with the stability of a telecommunications infrastructure business.

Our growth history

Strengthened our presence in Latin America with two further acquisitions: Skysites in Brazil, adding approximately 1000 sites along with exclusive access to tens of thousands of premium real estate locations in urban settings, and Centennial Towers’ Brazilian and Colombian businesses, bringing a further 602 and 217 towers respectively.

Entered the Middle East through the completion of a controlling investment in Zain Kuwait’s 1,620 towers in Kuwait, of which we completed the first closing of 1,022 towers in February 2020. The remainder towers are managed and operated under a Managed Services agreement until they can legally be transferred to IHS.

Expanded our footprint by entering Latin America through the completion of the Cell Site Solutions (CSS) acquisition, for 2,312 towers primarily across Brazil, as well as Peru and Colombia.

Refinanced the approximately $1.8 billion outstanding debt of our Nigeria operations including issuing $500 million 7.125% Senior Notes due 2025 and $800 million 8.0% Senior Notes due 2027, as well as new senior credit facilities, resulting in a more simplified debt capital structure, extended maturities and lower cost of debt.

Acquired HTN Towers, and their 1,211 towers, the first tower company-to-tower company transaction in Africa, which reinforced our leading position in Nigeria.

Issued our debut $800 million 9.500% senior notes due 2021 (now fully refinanced and redeemed in 2019), the largest African corporate high yield bond single issue offering at the time.

Acquired Airtel Zambia’s 949 towers and Airtel Rwanda’s 200 towers.

Further expanded in Nigeria through the acquisition of an additional 555 towers from 9mobile.

Entered Zambia and Rwanda through the acquisitions of MTN’s tower portfolios of 719 towers and 550 towers respectively. Helped establish IHS Towers as the largest independent tower company in EMEA by tower count, at that time.

Executed landmark transactions in Nigeria to gain 10,966 towers. We acquired 4,154 from MTN Nigeria and 2,116 from 9mobile in 2014 and completed the acquisition of the balance of 4,696 towers from MTN Nigeria in 2015.

Acquired MTN Côte d’Ivoire’s portfolio of 911 towers and MTN Cameroon’s 818 towers. Completed MLL agreements for Orange Côte d’Ivoire’s tower portfolio of 1,191 towers and Orange Cameroon’s 819 towers.

Began owning towers and leasing space to MNOs in Nigeria and launched our Colocation service operations to lease space to other MNOs.

Launched our Managed Services operations for MNO-owned towers with services including maintenance, security and power supply.

Founded as a builder of telecommunication towers for MNOs in Nigeria; our founders continue to lead the business today.

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