NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel on Wednesday announced the sale of nearly 20% of its 15,000-strong tower infrastructure in Africa. The move is aimed at reducing the over $10-billion debt of the company. Though Bharti did not disclose the size of the deal, market analysts peg it at a little lower than $1 billion.
The Sunil Mittal-led company is expected to continue to engage in further sale of its tower infrastructure to cut debt and work out solutions to make its struggling, loss-making African operations profitable.
The company said that its subsidiary, Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV (BAIN), and Helios Towers Africa (HTA) have signed a deal for around 3,100 telecom towers spread across four of the 17 African nations where the company operates. Airtel will have full access to towers from HTA, an independent towers company in Africa, under a long-term lease contract.