Telkom South Africa tower unit sold for $330m

 Telkom South Africa tower unit sold for $330m

UPDATED: Telkom South Africa confirmed the sale of its tower unit Swiftnet for ZAR 6.75 billion (US$355 million) to infrastructure-focused private equity firm Actis, a move to pay down debts and balance its books. 

In a stock exchange announcement, Telkom South Africa said: “​​The reduction of Telkom debt through application of the disposal proceeds will strengthen Telkom’s balance sheet and enable Telkom to release free-cash-flow for investment in Telkom’s core businesses and deployment in pursuit of growth opportunities.”

It added it has growth plans for other units including wholesale infrastructure provider Openserve and Telkom Consumer, its fibre broadband provider. 

Actis said in a separate statement, the deal was made to acquire 100% shares in Swiftnet and its footprint of 4,000 sites across South Africa. It made the acuistion with backing from Royal Bafokeng Holdings,a soverign wealth fund. 

The company said: “The deal allows Actis to invest in a growing sector, with strong secular tailwinds and an increasing need for tower densification driven by increasing internet penetration and the transitions from 3G and 4G to 5G.”

The acquisition of Swiftnet aligns with Actis’ strategy, as the unit has a “unique tower footprint” and is well positioned to meet demand from MNOs looking to connect rural locations. 

This acquisition will mark Actis’ second buy into telecom towers this year following its acquisition of sites in the Western Balkans. The deal was for 1,800 macro towers in Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

The company also bought South African fibre provider Octotel in 2020. 

Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.