Weil Continues Its Private Equity Run With Role Advising Providence on Its First African Investment

Weil, Gotshal & Manges advised Providence Equity Partners on its lead equity investment in Helios Towers Africa (HTA), a leading telecoms tower operator in Africa. Together, existing and new investor contributions raised equity financing of $630 million for HTA to fund its acquisition of the African towers network being sold by Bharti Airtel, the Indian telecoms group. Announced yesterday, Bharti Airtel plans to divest itself of approximately 3,100 towers to HTA in four African countries, which will accelerate the growth of telecoms services in Africa by increasing Helios’ African infrastructure capacity to some 7,800 owned towers.

Operating telecoms infrastructure across Africa, HTA was founded by Helios Investment Partners. In addition to lead investor Providence, this fundraising attracted investment from existing shareholders including George Soros’ Quantum Strategic Partners, Helios Investment Partners, Albright Capital Management (an emerging markets advisory firm led by former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright), RIT Capital Partners (an investment trust chaired by Lord Rothschild), and the International Finance Corporation, and new shareholder IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund. The Weil team was led by Sam Blake and Marco Compagnoni.

Earlier this year, Weil advised Providence Equity in March, together with CCMP, THL and Quadrangle as Grupo Corporativo Ono’s principal shareholders, on the €7.2 billion sale of Spain-based Ono to Vodafone.

Ranked number 1 for global PE deals in Bloomberg’s legal rankings for H1 2014, these deals reflect a very busy first half for Weil’s global private equity team who have recently advised on transactions including: Montagu Private Equity’s US$805m acquisition of the Healthcare Devices and Prescription Retail divisions from Rexam; PAI partners, together with The Carlyle Group, on the proposed US$900 million acquisition of the custom sensors and technologies division (CST) of Schneider Electric; Berkshire Partners on the sale of National Vision to KKR; and Baring Private Equity Asia on the US$3 billion take private of Giant Interactive, a Chinese on-line gaming company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.