The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Competition Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Madagascar Towers SA and Malawi Towers Limited shares by Helios Towers Limited.
Helios Towers operates in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is incorporated in Malawi and Madagascar as Helios Towers Malawi Limited and Helios Towers Madagascar Limited.
The target firms—Madagascar Towers and Malawi Towers— are part of Airtel Africa Group, which provides passive telecommunication infrastructure in Madagascar and Malawi, respectively.
In a statement on Monday signed by its registrar Meti Disasa, the commission said the parties have since paid $102 101.765 (about K82 million) in penalties for failure to notify the commission of its proposed acquisition transaction in time.
Reads the statement in part: “The committee responsible for initial determination determined that the transaction was unlikely to harm the markets nor result in reduced welfare for consumers in Madagascar, Malawi and Comesa at large.
“The parties’ compliance was commendable as this was testimony that the parties are law-abiding corporate citizens who take their obligations under the Comesa Competition Regulations seriously.”
Airtel Africa sold its tower units in Madagascar and Malawi to Helios Towers plc for $108 million (about K89 billion) and inked separate pacts with the UK telecom infrastructure company.
The funds would be used to reduce Airtel Group debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries.
Commenting on the transactions, Airtel Africa chief executive officer Raghunath Mandava told https://economictimes.indiatimes.com that the tower transactions underlined the company’s strong execution of its asset monetisation programme.
Airtel Africa is the holding firm for Bharti Airtel’s operations in 14 countries in the region.