17 March 2011

Standard Bank Group secures US$40m deal for Helios Towers Ghana



Standard Bank Group has put together financing worth US$40-million for Helios Towers Ghana Limited to finance the next phase of its network of telecommunications towers across Ghana.

The club deal was put together on behalf of Stanbic Bank in Ghana (a member of Standard Bank Group Limited), Standard Chartered Bank and Standard Chartered Bank Ghana.

Ghana is one of Africa's fastest growing wireless markets with current subscriber penetration estimated to be 67% and thought to grow to 88% by 2013.

Sharing of towers is a fast-growing subset of the mobile telecommunications sector in Africa. It brings significant capex and opex savings for mobile operators that they can pass onto consumers who benefit from improved network quality and enhanced coverage.

Nina Triantis, Standard Bank Group's Global Head of Telecoms and Media, says: "Standard Bank is delighted to have provided a finance package to Helios Towers Ghana, a leading independent tower company.

"Not only does this success demonstrate our committed support to infrastructure development in Africa, but through Standard Bank Group's on-the-ground presence in 17 sub-Saharan countries we can better understand and serve the needs of our clients," says Nina Triantis.

"Our team's considerable local and international knowledge and sector expertise in areas such as project finance, natural resources and foreign exchange means we can continue to help African companies such as HTG grow with long-term positive effects for African communities."

Chuck Green, CEO of Helios Towers Ghana, is delighted with the financing deal saying that it "represents a significant leap forward in the development of their plan to rollout independent tower companies across the African Continent."

He adds: "Standard Bank and Standard Chartered Bank are the ideal partners to facilitate the growth of HTG with their deepbreadth of experience in Africa. This facility will enable the group to quickly deploy tower sharing solutions across Ghana, while also benefiting the environment."

About Helios Towers Africa and Helios Towers Ghana:
Helios Towers Ghana (HTA) is a pan-Africa tower company that leases space on its telecommunications towers to telecom companies, thereby helping improve access to mobile telephony, and other communications technologies, and facilitating the introduction of new products and services in developing countries in Africa.

Helios Towers Ghana was launched in January 2010 when HTA purchased and leased back 750 towers in Ghana to mobile operator Tigo Ghana, the first transaction of its kind in Africa. Helios Towers Ghana enables Ghanaian wireless operators to outsource non-core tower-related activities and focus their capital and managerial resources on providing higher quality services more cost-effectively.

HTA was founded by Helios Investment Partners LLP, Quantum Strategic Partners Limited, an affiliate of Soros Fund Management LLC, RIT Capital Partners plc and Lord Rothschild's familyinterests, and Albright Capital Management to meet the infrastructure needs of wireless service providers by developing, owning and leasing communication towers in sub-Saharan Africa.

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