HTA Group launches US$600m corporate bond

Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of independent telecoms tower firm Helios Towers Africa, has announced its maiden corporate bond, with the US$600 million raised to allow the company to invest in tower infrastructure and acquire any remaining minorities in the group’s companies.

HTA one of the leading independent tower companies in Africa, with more than 6,500 towers in four markets – namely Ghana, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Congo-Brazzaville

The company’s sale-leaseback model in Africa sees it buy towers that were held by single operators and lease them back to the seller and other operators. This allows wireless operators to outsource non-core tower-related activities and focus on providing higher quality services more cost-effectively.

The maiden US$600 million bond will be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and was over three times oversubscribed. HTA CEO Kash Pandya said the capital raise would allow the company to consolidate its sources of finance, invest in towers infrastructure, and acquire the remaining minority in the group’s operating companies.

“We take great pride from global investors’ confidence in the platform and our ability to deliver the exceptional customer service that has driven over 60 per cent growth in tenancies over the last 24 months,” Pandya said.

“With 52 million new subscribers forecast by 2022 across our four markets we look forward to helping our customers address the infrastructure gap needed to support this phenomenal growth.”

Meanwhile, HTA has been assigned a B2 corporate family rating (CFR) and a preliminary ‘B’ long-term corporate credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings respectively.

HTA’s CFO Tom Greenwood said the maiden bond issuance and first credit rating marked an important milestone in the company’s growth and a significant endorsement of its business fundamentals, track record and leading position in high growth markets.