Etisalat, the UAE’s incumbent telecom operator, plans to raise up to $600 million by selling the cell towers it owns in Africa, according to a report from Zawya Dow Jones, which cited people familiar with the matter.
The report added that Etisalat was planning to sell about 4,000-5,000 towers and expected to generate around $500 million to $600 million, according to one person familiar with the process. Another person familiar with the matter said that Etisalat had hired Standard Chartered to advise on the process.
Operators in the MEA region are increasingly looking to sell their cell towers to specialist tower companies as a means to raise funds and reduce capex and opex. The business model is becoming particularly well-established in Africa, where the cost of maintaining and refueling base stations in remote areas weighs heavily on the balance sheets of telcos.