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ECP portfolio company IHS raises more than USD1bn for expansion

ECP’s Fund III portfolio company, IHS Mauritius, has secured an additional USD1.035bn of equity and debt to fund new tower purchases and existing tower upgrades.

Following the equity capital raising process, which was led and managed by ECP, IHS has secured a total USD555m of new investment from an Asian sovereign wealth fund (marking its first African investment) as well as from existing investors including Wendel (the European investment firm) and other ECP co-investors.
The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation supplied USD280m financing to IHS’s Nigeria operations while a syndicate led by Ecobank supplied USD200m of debt for the Ivory Coast and Cameroon operations. 
The new funds anticipate the surge in growth in mobile data usage on the continent. Issam Darwish, chief executive of IHS, has signalled that they will be used for building 1,000 new towers in existing markets in Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon, to service that growth. The funds will also be used to upgrade existing towers to solar and other energy efficient technologies, reducing the reliance on diesel generators.
Earlier this year IHS signed an agreement with France Telecom to take over management of 2,000 mobile towers across Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. This agreement took the total number of towers IHS manages to over 7,000, making the group the clear leader in the African tower sector with 70 per cent more towers than its nearest competitor.

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