The Standard Bank Group has announced that they have secured financing worth US$85million for Helios Towers Tanzania Ltd (HTT), a subsidiary of Helios Towers Africa Ltd (HTA), to finance the next phase of its network of telecommunications towers across Tanzania.
The financing attracted interest from several local and international financial institutions. The lending syndicate demonstrated the ability of African banks to finance large and cross-border transactions and included the following institutions:
- Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited and Standard Bank of South Africa as joint initial mandated lead arrangers;
- Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund as mandated lead arranger;
- Investec Bank as mandated lead arranger;
- National Micofinance Bank Plc as mandated lead arranger;
- Bank of Africa Tanzania Limited as lead arranger;
- International Commercial Bank (Tanzania) Limited as lead arranger; and
- Standard Bank Plc acted as sole bookrunner and facility agent
Tanzania is reportedly a top ten mobile market in Africa and one of the continent's fastest growing wireless markets. It's current subscriber penetration is estimated to be 46% and is expected to grow to 66% by 2015. Tower sharing is a fast growing subset of the mobile telecommunications sector in Africa, bringing significant capital expenditure and operating cost savings for mobile operators that can be passed onto consumers who benefit from improved network quality and enhanced coverage.
CEO for HTA, Charles Green said, "HTA is delighted to complete this financing in Tanzania, which demonstrates our commitment to developing successful independent tower companies across the African continent. We thank Standard Bank for their continuous support - this is the second financing that Standard Bank has led for HTA, having been a joint Mandated Lead Arranger for US$40 million of senior secured term loan facilities to support HTA's expansion in Ghana. The facility in Tanzania will help us to deploy further tower sharing solutions across the country, benefiting both the population and the environment."
Standard Bank's global head of telecoms and media, Nina Triantis added, "Standard Bank is delighted to have arranged a finance package for HTT, the leading independent tower company in Tanzania. This success demonstrates once again our continued support to infrastructure development in Africa through our superior understanding and serving of the needs of our clients due to our sector knowledge and our ground presence in 17 sub-Saharan countries."