Mergers and acquisition strategies for African telecom infrastructure to be debated at new finance conference

TMT Finance and Investment Africa 2010Chief executives from rival international telecom tower operators will be attending the TMT Finance and Investment Africa conference in order to debate multibillion dollar acquisition strategies for African communications infrastructure in 2010. The conference takes place in London on June 21st and will provide critical insight into emerging market dealflow and strategy for telecom and technology executives, investment bankers, investors, lawyers and advisers.

Eaton Telecom CEO Alan Harper, former head of strategy at Vodafone, Helios Towers Africa CEO Charles Green and American Tower Corporation’s Director of Business Development, Stephen Harris, will discuss opportunities in a panel chaired by Ernst & Young which also features Macquarie.

Dominic Lowndes, Managing Director of BroadGroup TMT Ventures and conference organiser, said, “Infrastructure opportunities in Africa will attract several billion dollars investment as rival towers operators race to buy portfolios from telcos seeking to reduce costs. Eaton, Helios and American Tower are the leading players and are competing aggressively for assets. Each has significant capital available, but there are also complex issues surrounding leaseback strategies which affect the telecom operator’s sale preferences.”

American Tower entered exclusive negotiations to buy Cell C‘s South African portfolio of towers last month while Helios succeeded in acquiring 750 towers from Millicom Ghana in January. Further sales are planned by Zain Africa, Millicom and MTN among others with deals being prepared across the African continent. Eaton Telecom, which was founded a year ago by Harper, along with former Orange CEO Sanjiv Ahuja and Celtel co-founder Terry Rhodes is planning to build new towers of its own and to buy existing telecom infrastructure from operators and to manage it on their behalf.

Other speakers at the conference includes Tata Communications, Vodafone, Goldman Sachs, ZTE, JPMorgan, Fidelity Wireless, BNP Paribas, Bintel, Denton Wilde Sapte, Nomura International, Herbert Smith, Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and many more. Additional session highlights include The Telecom Executives Round Table; The M&A Advisers Panel; The Infrastructure Investment Panel and Raising Finance for African Telecoms.

Further details and information regarding the TMT Finance and Investment Africa conference can be accessed at www.tmtfinance.com/africa plus email enquiries can be addressed at enquiries@tmtfinance.com