Helios Towers Enters into Agreements with Airtel Africa Group Companies
Vinson & Elkins advised its longstanding client Helios Towers plc (“Helios Towers”, the “Group”), the FTSE 250 independent telecommunications infrastructure company, in connection with agreements with Airtel Africa Group companies (“Airtel Africa”) to acquire its passive infrastructure operating companies in Madagascar and Malawi and its entry into exclusive memorandum of understanding arrangements for the potential acquisition of its passive infrastructure assets in Chad and Gabon, all subject to required regulatory approvals. These are all new markets for Helios Towers and will involve long-term service contracts for an initial period of 12 years providing $1.1 billion of future contracted revenue.
The transactions in Madagascar and Malawi are for the acquisition of Airtel Africa’s passive infrastructure companies in Madagascar and Malawi for a total expected consideration of $108 million. These acquisitions are both anticipated to close in or around Q4 2021, subject to separate customary closing conditions including required regulatory approvals. In each of Chad and Gabon, the Group has entered into exclusive memorandum of understanding arrangements and, subject to obtaining a passive infrastructure licence in each jurisdiction, is expected to complete the acquisition of Airtel Africa’s passive infrastructure assets in those countries in or around Q1 2022.
The V&E corporate team was led by partner Rob Dixon, with partner Emilie Stewart, senior professional support attorney Natalie Lamb, counsel Cason Moore and Alice Brogi, senior associates Miguel Colebrook and Eleni Zodiates, associates Dom Kinsky, Suzana Vukasinovic, Ka-Mun Fu, Arabella Robinson and Freddie Wright also advising. Counsel Andrew Callaghan, senior associate Byul Han and associate Simrita Chadha advised on tax. Trainee solicitors Robin Wallich and Martin Bontea-Ungureana also worked on the transactions.
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