Lagos, Nigeria, October 13, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $100 million in Helios Towers
Nigeria Ltd as part of a $250 million capital injection that will help
the company increase its network to 2,000 sites nationwide and afford Nigerian
people the many benefits of improved communications.
IFC disbursed an initial $50 million in mezzanine financing on August 21,
and on September 30, signed an agreement to lend an additional $50 million
in senior debt. IFC also is arranging $150 million in senior debt from
a number of commercial and development finance institutions.
HTN builds and maintains a network of telecommunications towers and leases
space on these towers to wireless telecommunications services providers.
The increased coverage will help wireless operators roll out their services
more economically and enable the extension of affordable mobile services
to semi-urban and rural areas.
“IFC’s long-term investment enabled us to leverage additional funding
from capital markets, which is often not readily accessible for frontier
markets,” said Kayode Akinola, HTN Director and Investment Principal at
Helios Investment Partners. “Nigeria remains one of the most high-growth
telecom markets worldwide and wireless infrastructure sharing will continue
to play a critical role in supporting operators in efficiently providing
services to customers.”
Nigeria’s telecommunications sector has developed significantly in recent
years, but teledensity at 43 percent indicates there still is potential
for growth in the market. With the expansion of the HTN network, operators
will be able to outsource non-core activities and passive infrastructure,
allowing them to focus on further developing their products and services.
“Affordable mobile telecommunications enable access to knowledge and services,
innovation across sectors, and more efficient delivery of government and
business services, all of which will contribute to economic growth and
opportunity creation,” said Mohsen Khalil, IFC Director for Global Information
and Communication Technologies. “IFC’s partnership with HTN will enable
mobile operators to lower their operating costs and improve the quality
and affordability of services, which will greatly benefit underserved consumers
and businesses in Nigeria.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5
billion in fiscal 2009, helping play a prominent role in addressing the
financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
For more information about Helios
Towers Nigeria Ltd, visit www.heliostowers.com.
For more information about Helios Investment Partners, visit www.heliosinvestment.com.