Africa Telecoms Firm Eaton Towers Plans $350M Expansion

Africa Telecoms Firm Eaton Towers Plans $350M Expansion

From BBC

African telecoms company Eaton Towers has raised a $350m war chest to fund expansion across the continent.

Eaton, which builds and operates masts for mobile phone networks, has also signed a deal with Mobinil in Egypt, an arm of Orange, to buy 2,000 towers.

The company installs telecom networks and persuades rival mobile phone operators to share the same tower, thereby cutting costs.

Chief executive Terry Rhodes said: “Sharing masts is good for everybody.”

Investors in the latest round of financing for Eaton Towers include Capital Group Private Markets, the firm’s controlling shareholder, plus a consortium led by Ethos Private Equity, a leading South African fund manager, and Standard Chartered Private Equity.

African footprint

Eaton Towers currently operates networks of mobile phone masts in seven countries, including Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. Now Egypt will be added to the company’s footprint in Africa.

“We’ve signed other deals in West and East Africa which will be concluded soon,” says Mr Rhodes, who also believes it is getting easier to convince rival mobile phone companies to co-operate and share infrastructure.

“Five or six years ago there was a reluctance, but I think that the increased load on the networks, as more customers come on, want more services and particularly more data, then networks need to do more to cut their costs and focus on their services. They’ve all agreed, all the major ones have done this, that sharing their towers is a good way to go,” he says.

Read more at BBC