MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has leased its 2,500 network sites to ATC Nigeria with the deal to begin from 2025.
The telecoms giant noted that the current license for which IHS Nigeria Limited provides its tower services is due to expire in 2024 and 2025.
MTN disclosed via an official statement signed by Company Secretary, Uto Ukpanah that it called for a transparent bidding process to lease its tower contracts and ATC Nigeria emerged winner of the contract which is to take effect from 2025.
“MTN Nigeria Communications PLC (“MTN Nigeria” or the “Company”) hereby notifies the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the investing public that the lease of approximately 2.5k network sites, for which IHS Nigeria Limited currently provides tower services, is due to expire in 2024 and 2025.
In line with MTN Nigeria’s procurement policy, which seeks to ensure a transparent and competitive bidding process, the Company called for tender for these tower contracts.
Following a review of the bids received for tower services for the affected sites, ATC Nigeria Wireless Infrastructure Solutions Limited (ATC) was selected as the preferred tower company for those sites based on its superior bid submission.
ATC will take over the provision of tower services for the affected sites from 2025.”
Bloomberg reports that MTN Group (parent company of MTN Nigeria) is currently in a shareholder dispute with the IHS, of which it holds 26%, over governance issues.
This dispute according to Bloomberg is traced back to when MTN completed a sale-and-lease-back deal with IHS to take over more than 5,700 of its tower sites in South Africa. Since then, the relationship between the two companies has gone sour.
Bloomberg also noted that American Tower (ATC) previously bought MTN’s stake in its tower operations in Uganda and Ghana.