Pan African Towers has been accorded a stable rating outlook of A3 in the short term and a BBB in the long term by the Global Credit Ratings (GCR).
The rating which is valid until the end of 2021 was issued to Pan African Towers due to the company’s inherent business strength, an experienced management team, the substantial imminent equity injection by a private equity firm and the expectation for a timeous and successful rollout of an aggressive expansion plan in the short to medium term.
According to the GCR Report, “PAT’s business risk assessment is mitigated by low cyclicality (even amid COVID-19); strong regulatory support for local content, stable long-term contracted revenues, embedded annual lease escalations, with financially strong telecom counterparties”. The report also stated that “Accordingly, debtor risk is also low. This is somewhat counterbalanced by earnings concentration (c.80%) to two key tenants, albeit in line with the industry structure”.
The report revealed that PAT’s revenue is primarily derived from lease charges for hosting radio equipment of third-party telecom operators.
It stated that “Having witnessed strong revenue progression in the past 26 months, PAT is seeking to expand its market share and gain from economies of scale through the acquisition of existing towers from smaller players, thereby enlarging its lease portfolio.
Reacting to the GCR Rating and speaking on behalf of the company, the Acting Chief Financial Officer of Pan African Towers, Oluseun Fajebe said “This GCR ratings issued to us is a vote of confidence on our company. It demonstrates our healthy financial status; highly skilled management team and employees, as well as an innovative business continuity plan, all juxtaposed to provide quality telecom services that will help bridge that telecom infrastructure deficit that continues to stare us in the face”.
Fajebe stated that “With a telecom infrastructure deficit estimated at more than $136 Billion in Nigeria, it was only necessary that we position our company to help accelerate Africa’s strong appetite for broadband growth and internet penetration; hence our massive expansion plans to deploy more towers across Africa in the next few years”. He continued that “The GCR Rating is an emphatic attestation as to the leading position Pan African Towers is taking in the African telecom industry. We have developed a unique business model, coupled with the use of cutting-edge technology and heavily powered by green renewable energy to provide various telecom network operators across Africa, the much-needed support to lower costs and deliver high quality and reliable service levels across their operations”.
It will be recalled that towards the end of December 2020, PAT received two outstanding awards including the Tower Infrastructure Company of the Year Award at the Nigeria Business Leadership Awards.
To Fajebe, these recognitions and ratings are clear depictions of a strong, innovative and financially stable company, perfectly positioned to achieve the goals of the National Broadband Plan and transform Nigeria into a digital economy.
He noted that “This stable credit rating outlook bestowed on us by GCR is a huge motivation for us to continue being the leader in the telecom infrastructure space. Our mission is to transform communities by providing sustainable, dynamic, and innovative infrastructure solutions and platforms through cost-effective technology penetration. This stable credit outlook rating to us by GCR is a recognition of the things we do. We appreciate GCR for this recognition as this will serve as a strong encouragement to continue doing the things we do”.