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02 October 2014

Mott MacDonald advises on African mobile towers acquisition

Mott MacDonald has supported Eaton Towers’ acquisition of 3500 mobile network towers from Airtel. The consultancy provided commercial and technical due diligence to Eaton Towers, a leading independent telecoms tower company in Africa.

In 2013, Airtel, a leading global telecommunications services provider, began a process to sell all/part of its mobile network towers in up to 17 African countries. This deal sees Eaton Towers purchase 3500 towers in six countries which consolidates and builds on its existing operations in Africa. This transaction also follows Eaton Towers’ and Airtel’s strategies to drive cost efficiencies throughout the industry via the use of shared passive infrastructure.

Mott MacDonald provided a 10-year forecast of future tower demand based on market and technology evolution using an in-house developed tower market demand model. This forecasted likely tenancy demand and tenancy ratios and analysed tower space and GIS location data to examine the attractiveness of each portfolio to mobile network operators. An assessment of potential co-location pricing and site operating costs was also provided, using Mott MacDonald’s extensive database of benchmarks.

Andrew Doyle, Mott MacDonald’s manager of technology and communications, said: “Our deliverables gave Eaton’s finance partners confidence in the potential markets they were interested in and were key in finalising this acquisition.”

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