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IHS tower offers MTN Nigeria improved terms to counter deal with American tower

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IHS tower

IHS Holding has proposed improved commercial terms to MTN Nigeria for leasing back 2,500 towers previously lost to American Tower Corporation (ATC).

The aim according to the company is to avert any network disruptions in Africa’s most populous country.

The Chairman and CEO of IHS Towers Sam Darwish, said the towers represent a minor portion of the total tenancies held by the company, but IHS is prepared to align its terms with those offered by ATC.

Speaking to Reuters, he said,

  • “IHS has offered improved commercial terms on the 2,500 towers to close the gap (between the offers) as our main aim is to prevent network disruption in Nigeria”

Although he refrained from providing details of the improved offer from IHS.

MTN Nigeria’s position

MTN stated that the agreement with ATC is conclusive, and the company intends to maintain constructive engagement with IHS for potential future opportunities, such as the renewal of its other sites.

The company told Reuters thus,

  • “Our preference is always for bilateral renewal, subject to competitive pricing and terms. In this instance the ATC proposal was superior”

Backstory

In September, Nairametrics reported MTN announcement of the leasing of 2500 sites held by IHS to American Towers Corporation after a competitive bidding process.

MTN Nigeria CEO, Carl Toriola announced in November there will be a be periodic reviews of the company’s tower contracts, to drive efficiency, and ensure optimal performance from vendors.

IHS controls 16,000 towers in Nigeria, with MTN leasing 14,600 of them. ATC holds approximately 13% of MTN’s portfolio, while the majority, accounting for 80%, remains under the control of IHS.

IHS is currently entangled in a shareholder conflict involving MTN Group, its primary stakeholder holding 26%, alongside French financial investor Wendel and activist investor Blackwells Capital. The dispute revolves around governance matters.


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