Airtel sells 8,300 mobile towers in Africa for $1.7 bn


New Delhi, Oct 20 (PTI) : Telecom major Bharti Airtel today said it has completed the sale of about 8,300 mobile towers in Africa for USD 1.7 billion (about Rs 11,000 crore), which will be used for reducing debt.

“As on date we have completed the sale transactions in seven countries for approximately 8,300 towers representing close to 60 per cent of the total tower base,” Airtel said in a statement.

Bharti Airtel has around 14,000 mobile towers in Africa and has decided to exit the tower business.

“The total value of proceeds from all the concluded transactions in these seven countries is over USD 1.7 billion and is being utilised for reducing the debt of the company,” the statement said.

The net debt of Airtel was Rs 68,134.5 crore at the end of June this year.

The agreements to sell mobile towers have lapsed in four countries while the process is on in two countries, it added.

Airtel said that sales and lease back shall continue to remain a strategic priority for Airtel in all its operating countries across Africa and accordingly the balance towers will also be disposed over a period of time.