Orange is considering stake sales for its African and Middle Eastern tower business. The French telecommunications company, which operates in 18 countries across the region, could also carve out the assets into units based on geography. Also, Orange is studying a range of options, including selling the towers by country, offloading the portfolio as a whole, sharing towers with other operators or holding an initial public offering, they said.

The assets could be valued at about US$1 billion (R18 billion), depending on the location and condition of the towers. Wireless carriers globally have been carving out and selling stakes in their infrastructure businesses as a way to free up capital and share the burden of network buildouts with investors.

While Orange has discussed the proposal with potential advisers, the talks are at an early stage, and no final decisions have been made. The African tower portfolio under review is separate from Orange’s mobile-mast company, Totem.

MTN Group, Africa’s biggest phone company, recently completed a sale-and-leaseback deal for about 5700 of its South African towers for R6.4 billion. Meanwhile, independent tower companies, such as American Tower Corp., IHS Holding and Helios Towers, have been keen to pick up the assets.

Orange’s CEO plans to announce a new strategic plan for France’s biggest phone company this month. 

Pin It