South Africa’s Telkom sells Swiftnet towers for over $355 million

March 22, 2024
2 min read
  • Telkom has offloaded its Swiftnet masts and towers business to a consortium made of the UK-based investment firm Actis and Royal Bafokeng Holdings for R6.75 billion( $355.4 million).
  • Per the telco, this move underscores its “commitment to fortifying its financial position, reducing debt and enhancing liquidity.”
  • Actis, which owns a 70% stake in the new company Towerco Bidco, and Royal Bafokeng Holdings, which owns a 30% stake, will acquire Swiftnet. 

Telkom verified that Swiftnet rents co-location space to significant mobile network operators and has about 4,000 locations in South Africa.

This development represents a trend in the South African telecom industry.  Vodacom is the only company left with tower ownership after MTN South Africa and Cell C made decisions related to selling off their tower infrastructure to focus on their core business operations.

In June 2022, MTN South Africa signed a sale and lease-back agreement with IHS Holding Ltd. for 5,700 tower sites in South Africa. At the same time, American Tower Corporation purchased approximately 960 of Cell C's existing towers through its local South African subsidiary.  

Serame Taukobong, Telkom Group CEO, stated that this development "marks a pivotal moment in Telkom's journey towards unlocking shareholder value and streamlining our focus on core business operations."

“Beyond the financial implications, this transaction ensures seamless continuity for our related businesses, particularly Telkom Consumer and Openserve, by guaranteeing continued access to Swiftnet’s infrastructure under mutually beneficial terms,” he added. 

While the consortium will finance the acquisition of Swiftnet with equity and third-party debt, approval from both shareholders and regulators is still required for the transaction to proceed.

Selling its towers to investors, "including a Black Economic Empowerment partner, led and managed by a reputable private equity firm," is how Telkom has been making money since November 2023. Meanwhile, Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) requirements mandated the telco to keep the public updated every 30 business days.

Subscribe To Techpoint Digest
Join thousands of subscribers to receive our fun week-daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, directly in your inbox, hours before everyone else.
This is A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day! 
Digest Subscription

Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime. Privacy Policy.

Other Stories

43b, Emina Cres, Allen, Ikeja.

 Techpremier Media Limited. All rights reserved