BusinessDay

Pan African Towers raises N1.96bn Debt Fund

Pan African Towers Limited (PAT), a leading telecommunications infrastructure and wireless service provider in Nigeria, has raised about N1.96 Billion in debt funding from the Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund (NIDF), managed by Chapel Hill Denham.

The debt financing was issued to Pan African Towers to support the company in achieving its aggressive growth plan of ameliorating the connectivity challenges in Nigeria and deploying about 35,000 towers across Africa within the next few years to accelerate internet penetration and broadband services.

Evaluating the telecom infrastructure sector, Adebayo Shittu, Nigeria’s former Minister of Communication and Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), believe that Nigeria requires at least 70,000 towers to ensure excellent performance and coverage for 4G and 5G technology. Nigeria has about 30,000 towers, which unravels a lot of opportunities for growth and development in the telecommunication infrastructure sector.

Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund, managed by Chapel Hill Denham, is Africa’s and Nigeria’s first listed infrastructure debt fund. The fund is structured to enable domestic long-term savings such as pension and retirement assets to be safely channeled into productive infrastructure assets in the country. While supporting commercially attractive projects, NIDF enables its investors to benefit from the foreseeable returns available from long dated infrastructure debt investments.

Reacting to this deal, Wole Abu, the CEO of Pan African Towers Limited thanked NIDF for this investment fund and said Pan African Towers is excited to have NIDF as its long-term financing partner. The Chief Executive who recently received the Nigerian Tech Innovation Telecom Award (NTITA ) for the Emerging Tower Company of the Year Award 2019 and the Quality World Alliance Award for the Leading Telecommunication Service Provider of the Year  2019 on behalf of his company, said “A key aspect of the deal is that the funds are denominated in the local currency, which harmonises with our overall strategic goal of delivering affordable and financially sustainable telecom services to the Nigeria people. The NIDF team’s ability to structure bespoke transactions using global-standard project finance techniques, while working within an expedited timeframe, is extremely impressive. This is a remarkable milestone in our business, and we look forward to more synergies in the relationship’.

Anshul Rai, CEO, Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund said: ‘The availability of long-term financing is critical for sustainable infrastructure development in Nigeria. By channeling institutional capital into productive assets, NIDF is supporting the country’s strategic imperatives of adding to its infrastructure stock as well as providing the enabling services that are critical for both economic diversification and social development. Sponsors such as PAT have taken the prudent decision of matching the currency of their financing with the currency of their revenues (both being Naira), thus significantly improving the overall risk profile of these projects.’

 

 

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