14 November 2012

Uganda: IFC, Stanbic Lend U.S $60 Million to Tower Company

The World Bank's IFC and Stanbic Bank have extended $60 million to Eaton Towers to fund the acquisition of the combined tower portfolios from Orange Uganda and Warid Uganda.

IFC is the private sector lending arm of the World Bank.

Stanbic said in a statement this week that the money will also be used for upgrade of the towers and to fund further capital expenditure in relation to the build-out of up to 80 additional wireless towers in Uganda.

The Stanbic loan has a six-year tenor and the IFC loan has an 8.5-year tenor.

Eaton Towers chief financial officer Peter Lewis said the firm has demonstrated ability to efficiently leverage its assets across Africa.

"Mobile operators in Africa are increasingly viewing tower sharing as a key strategy to facilitate reductions in operating costs enabling them to focus on providing mobile services," said Lewis.

Full upgrade and expansion of site builds will go a long way in improving the quality of reception especially for mobile telephony.

It also reduces unnecessary crowding of places where masts are usually built.

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