Helios Towers rents out towers so that telecommunication operators can provide network coverage and build. They do this largely in Africa with Nigeria as one of its big markets. Helios Towers is a division of a private equity firm founded by a Nigerian UK based Harvard graduate who also invested in First City Monument Bank before the crash. This company has quite a war chest under management. Tekedia confirms that Helios Investment Partners holds rights in Helios Towers as our previous report confirmed.
Visafone wanted to buy Multilinks but was blocked due to contractual arrangements Helios Towers had with Multilinks. That deal was culled off. Now South African Telkom noted that it has signed an agreement to sell off the CDMA company, Multilinks, to Helios Towers for a paltry $10m. This will enable Helios Towers to either manage Multilink or look for buyers. Helios Towers will have full control and ownership of the CDMA company.
The deal Telkom had with Multilinks is like the News Corp and Myspace. Telkom invested $410m over a three year span for 100% control of Multilinks.
Tekedia thinks that the best deal for Helios Towers is to sell Multilinks. Alternatively, it can merge with Starcomms which is also bleeding cash with no hope of getting over the competition. A merger though will be a temporary relief, the real deal will be outright sale of Multilinks.