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02 May 2017

Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund anchors US$600 million bond issue by leading telco tower operator Helios Towers Africa

“Attracting international capital adds to the money available to build infrastructure in Africa and demonstrates confidence in African markets and companies,” EAIF Executive Director says

Helios Towers Africa (HTA), a leading telecommunications infrastructure and power operator in Africa, is set for expansion following a successful US$600 million, five-year-term, bond issue, supported by the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF)

HTA raised the finance through its Mauritius holding company in the first week of February 2017, with settlement on 8th March. It is using the funds to expand its business, free up cash flow and consolidate existing debt. EAIF, an anchor investor to the issue, bought bonds to the value of US$40 million. EAIF’s participation as anchor investor also attracted investment by a large number of private investors in the bond, and marks is the seventh occasion on which EAIF has supported HTA’s growth. It is the seventh time that EAIF has supported HTA’s growth. All pre-existing EAIF loans to the company have been repaid to EAIF with proceeds from the bond issue.

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund exists to mobilise private sector capital and expertise to bring Africa the infrastructure vital to sustained economic development. The Fund marks its 15th year in business in 2017. It has supported c 70 projects in 21 African countries, attracting over US$10 billion of private capital. The Fund is managed by Investec Asset Management (IAM), one of the largest third party investors in private equity, credit, public equity and sovereign debt across the African continent.

EAIF’s Executive Director, Emilio Cattaneo, says,

“In the critical area of telecommunications, we have invested in a series of businesses that have transformed the sector in Africa over the past decade. Companies like HTA are the backbone of Africa’s digital economy. We are delighted to have been instrumental in HTA’s success and to be supporting its future.”

HTA operates c 6,500 communications towers in Tanzania, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Congo Brazzaville. It owns 50% of all the tower stock in Tanzania, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville. HTA employs over 400 people.

HTA’s primary business is leasing space on long term contracts to mobile network operators and other providers of data and voice services. HTA’s business model allows operators to avoid or reduce the capital and revenue costs of building and maintaining towers. That frees up resources which operators can use to focus on customer needs, including introducing new services, expanding coverage and passing efficiencies to end users through lower pricing.

Over U$140 million is to be invested in upgrading works, buying sites and building new towers. The expansion will bring new capacity to existing customers and help attract new operators, as well as opening up rural areas.

The HTA issue is the second telecommunications bond issue EAIF has supported recently. Towards the end of 2016, the Fund invested in an US$800 million bond issue by the Nigerian communications tower company IHS.

“Attracting international capital adds to the money available to build infrastructure in Africa and demonstrates confidence in African markets and companies. It also widens and deepens the financial management and governance expertise of companies,” Mr Cattaneo says.

HTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Kash Pandya, says the bond issue marks a new era for the company and opens new horizons.

“Mobile digital technology has been a powerful mechanism for economic and social progress in Africa and we take great pride in playing our part in enabling network expansion and improvements. EAIF has become a greatly valued partner to HTA and mixes world class financial standards and expertise with a proven track record of helping to improve the lives and prospects of people in countries across Africa,” says Mr Pandya.

EAIF is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). Seven governments (and The World Bank) currently contribute funds to PIDG. In the case of EAIF, support comes from the governments of the UK, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as private sector banks, the German development finance institution, KfW and FMO, its Dutch equivalent.

Nazmeera Moola is Head of EAIF at Investec Asset Management. She says,

“With considerable uncertainty in the global economy, it is extremely encouraging to see investors being confident and optimistic about Africa. Expanding the digital infrastructure stimulates macro and micro economic activity. Strengthening fragile economies through private investment in infrastructure encourages political stability, favours investment in other sectors, improves the job market and helps build income levels.”

ENDS

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund is funded by:

For further information, please contact:

EAIF

Martin Roche +44(0)771 574 9621

wmartinroche@btinternet.com


Investec Asset Management

Vian Sharif +44 207 597 1834

vian.sharif@investecmail.com

Kotie Basson +27 21 416 1812

kotie.basson@investecmail.com


PIDG

Rebecca Goding +44 (0)20 3058 3182

rebecca.goding@pidg.org

Notes to Editors

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund

July 2017

Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and FMO provide US$29.3 million to refinance the Bugoye hydro-electric power station in Uganda

• EAIF and Dutch development bank FMO each lending 50%
• EAIF Mandated Lead Arranger
• Refinancing also facilitates building new generating capacity
• Refinancing also facilitates building new generating capacity

June 2017

EAIF backs upgrades and expansion at two Madagascar airports, following private sector company Ravinala Airports winning management concession

First airport infrastructure project for EAIF "A step change for Madagascar’s economic development drive", says EAIF chairman

Two airports in Madagascar are to have their runways, passenger terminal facilities and allied infrastructure upgraded and expanded in a EUR 215 million project being supported by the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF / the Fund). The Fund is providing senior debt of EUR 25 million over a 16-year term.

June 2017

Life-changing infrastructure helps 31m people in Africa and Asia

The Private Infrastructure Development Group opened up access to life-changing infrastructure designed to boost economies and combat poverty for 31 million people, last year.

June 2017

Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund announces first project in Mali

90MW power station to increase Mali’s effective base load electricity by 30%

The private sector Malian power plant operator, Albatros Energie Mali (AEM), is to build a 90MW HFO-fueled power station in the Kayes region of the country, adding 30% to Mali’s effective base load electricity capacity. The €123.1 million project has the support of a €5.8 million 15-year term conventional loan and €3.9 million Sha’ria financing facility with a 14-year term, both from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund. It is the Fund’s first project in Mali.

Media Enquiries

Please address all media related enquiries to:


EAIF Media Contact
media@eaif.com

Investec Media Contact
Vian Sharif
UK, Europe, America and Asia
Woolgate Exchange, 25 Basinghall Street, London, EC2V 5HA
Tel: +44 (0)20 7597 1834
Email: Vian.Sharif@investecmail.com

Kotie Basson
South Africa, Africa and Middle East
36 Hans Strijdom Avenue Foreshore Cape Town 8001
Tel: +27 (0)21 416 1812
Email: Kotie.Basson@investecmail.com