New Delhi: Bharti Airtel Ltd, the world’s third largest communications services provider, has signed an agreement with American Tower Corp., to sell approximately 1,350 towers in Tanzania.

“Under the agreement, American Tower may acquire up to approximately 100 additional sites currently in development for an additional consideration," Bharti said in a statement on Monday. “Airtel will be the anchor tenant on the portfolio under a lease with a 10-year initial term," the statement added.

This is the ninth African country where Bharti has executed such a deal since buying Kuwait-based Zain’s Africa assets across 17 countries, in the continent.

The deal is valued at around $179 million, according to a statement by American Tower to US stock exchanges. With this, Bharti has raised more than $2 billion from tower sales in Africa.

The deal is expected to be completed by the first half of 2016 and is aimed at improving Bharti’s ability to focus on its core business and help reduce debt, by reducing ongoing capital expenditure on passive infrastructure.

As reported by Mint in October, Bharti concluded the sale of around 8,300 towers in Africa across the continent. Bharti has thus far sold around 2,500 towers to Eaton in four countries, including Ghana, Uganda and Kenya, and another 700 towers in Burkina Faso.

Bharti was earlier in talks with Eaton to sell the Tanzania based telecom towers, but that deal lapsed.

The latest deal takes the number of towers sold to around 10,500, of the around 13,000 towers that the telco owns in the African continent.

On 21 October, Bharti announced that it had signed a total of seven deals to sell its towers for a total of $1.7 billion. Other companies that Bharti has sold its towers include Helios Towers Africa and IHS Holding Ltd.

ATC has also bought Bharti’s towers in Nigeria.

On 14 January, Bharti announced that it had finalised a deal to sell its telecom operations in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone to France-based telecom operator Orange, for an estimated $900 million.

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