Sandile Msimango has been appointed as vice president and CEO of telecommunications tower operator IHS Holding for its South African subsidiary, following its recent US$ 410.5 million towers agreement with MTN Group.
In November 2021, MTN announced that IHS would purchase its South African tower portfolio. IHS is acquiring the towers’ “passive” components, not the “active” or radio parts, pending regulatory approvals to be made by the end of the first quarter of 2022. IHS will take over 5 709 towers in total.
MTN plans to reinvest the funds in strategic growth projects, such as vying for spectrum licenses at a forthcoming auction conducted by communications regulator ICASA. MTN stated that IHS would make all payments related to the leaseback in rand at the deal’s announcement.
Msimango, who previously worked for MTN Group, will report to IHS executive vice president and group chief operating officer William Saad and based in Johannesburg. Msimango has extensive mergers & acquisitions, investments, and corporate strategy experience.
According to a statement from IHS, “Msimango is a former MTN Group M&A executive, where he primarily served as head of infrastructure investments and was instrumental in its towers’ monetisation strategy.”
“He began his investment banking career at Deutsche Securities, then moved to Goldman Sachs International. He was most recently the founder and managing partner of Coombe Advisory, a strategic financial advisory and investment entity with offices in London and Dubai.”
IHS, founded 20 years ago in Nigeria by entrepreneur Sam Darwish, has slowly built up a tower portfolio in emerging economies and is now one of the world’s largest independent tower portfolio operators.