IHS Towers is set to undertake Africa’s biggest IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). This venture will earn the Mauritius-based company a valuation of $7 billion.
IHS Towers planned to list its shares last year. The IPO was postponed as a result of the 2019 elections in its Nigerian market. According to an undisclosed source, the timeline for the IPO is the first half of the year; based on the market conditions.
In 2011, Sam Darwish founded IHS Tower in Lagos Nigeria. The company builds and manages mobile telecommunications infrastructure for mobile network operators. It is said to be the largest operator of wireless towers in Africa, Europe and the Middle East by tower count. It has operations in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, and Zambia.
It has engaged the services of Citigroup Inc. and JP Morgan Chase & Co. as global financial advisers for the IPO. It appointed former Florida governor Jeb Bush to the board to help scale its expansion drive across all business verticals. This listing is termed to be the biggest by an African company if it falls through. Its current shareholders include Goldman Sachs Group, Wendel SA and MTN Group Ltd.
Last year, IHS secured $1.3 billion debt funding to expand its network of over 24,000 towers. This ushered in a wave of expansion in existing and new markets with low mobile penetration across Africa. The IPO will enable it to raise sufficient capital for the acquisition of more towers and further expansion drive.
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