AIIM, Adenia, IFC buys majority stake in Eastcastle Infrastructure

telecom towercafAfrican Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), Adenia Partners and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) have partnered to invest US$130mn to support Eastcastle Infrastructure (Eastcastle), company specialising in Africa’s telecoms tower sector

The funding will  provide support to develop new telecom towers initially in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire. The towers across the region is needed to increase significantly to accelerate the deployment of bandwidth intensive technologies such as 3G, 4G and 5G by Mobile Network Operators and to increase quality connectivity.

The deal comes as growth in data consumption across Africa is soaring, with data consumption per subscriber expected to increase fourfold by 2025, along with an expected 200 million new mobile Internet users. Mobile operators that use bandwidth intensive technologies, such as 3G, 4G and 5G are expected to account for more than 85% of connections by 2025. 

Ed Stumpf, investment director at AIIM, commented, “Investment in Africa’s digital infrastructure is more important than ever to meet rising data demand and enable Africa’s digital economy. The internet economy has the potential to contribute nearly US$180bn to Africa’s gross domestic product by 2025 and, as such, a core part of AIIM’s strategy is to invest in businesses that address digital infrastructure bottlenecks and enable efficiency through infrastructure sharing.”

Stephane Bacquaert, managing partner at Adenia, commented, “Eastcastle meets a clear need for additional towers as operators look to extend and upgrade their networks and boost their offering, with demand notably strong in Africa. Eastcastle will play a key role in filling infrastructure gaps, by helping networks provide coverage and services both more efficiently and over a wider area. We are pleased to partner with a deeply experienced, well reputed and highly capable team to make this venture a success.”

AIIM will initially have two representatives on the board of Eastcastle: Stumpf and Martin Edge, senior digital infrastructure advisor for AIIM. Adenia’s representatives will be Stephane Bacquaert and Charles Boatin.

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