Airtel’s tower sales in Congo is credit-positive: Moody’s

Airtel’s tower sales in Congo is credit-positive: Moody’s

New Delhi, May 12 : Bharti Airtel’s sale of around 950 telecom towers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Helios Towers Africa is credit-positive as it will support debt reduction and help counter the adverse effect on leverage from its spectrum acquisitions, ratings firm Moody’s said in a report.

“The tower sale, which is part of Bharti’s ongoing monetization initiative, is credit positive because it will support debt reduction and help counter the adverse effect on leverage from its spectrum acquisitions,” the report said.

“Bharti did not disclose financial details of the sale, but we estimate proceeds of $140-$210 million, assuming a per-tower price of $150,000-$220,000, which is in line with our March 2015 estimate for Bharti’s African tower sales. We expect the DRC towers sale to close sometime during 2016, pending statutory and regulatory approvals,” it added.

Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) has signed a deal with Helios Towers Africa for divestment of around 950 telecom towers in Congo, a company statement said on May 5.

“Bharti has spent around Rs.79.3 billion ($1.1 billion) on spectrum so far this year and its monetization activities have been essential to countering any potential additional debt incurrence associated with growth initiatives such as spectrum acquisitions,” Moody’s report said.

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