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DPI and Verod Co-Invest in PAT

Anna Lyudvig
Nov. 28, 2023, 3:42 p.m.
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Development Partners International (DPI), a premier investment firm focused on Africa, and Verod Capital (Verod), one of the continent’s leading investment management firms, have co-invested in Pan African Towers (PAT), a digital infrastructure company based in Nigeria.

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Development Partners International (DPI), a premier investment firm focused on Africa, and Verod Capital (Verod), one of the continent’s leading investment management firms, have co-invested in Pan African Towers (PAT), a digital infrastructure company based in Nigeria.

Adefolarin Ogunsanya, Partner at DPI, said: “Pan African Towers is an exciting homegrown business with significant potential and is uniquely positioned to benefit from the opportunity presented by Nigeria’s digital innovation boom. We are incredibly excited to partner with PAT’s management team to help crystallize the Company’s vision of becoming Nigeria’s digital infrastructure provider of choice and look forward to sharing our deep knowledge and experience of Africa’s towers industry and the Nigerian market to help achieve this.”

DPI and Verod are investing in PAT to fuel its continued growth and will work with management to build on the company’s recent achievements and reaffirm its position as Nigeria’s largest homegrown digital infrastructure provider.

Daniel Adeoye, Principal and Head of Investments at Verod Capital, said: “The Nigerian demographic is currently experiencing a surge in data consumption and related services, driven by a generation of tech-savvy digital natives that are unparalleled. The ‘Verod Consumer Spend Index’ indicates that telecommunication expenses are increasing significantly, providing a tailwind for tower companies like PAT. Verod is delighted to support PAT’s management with ample capital and value-creation expertise to navigate this period of growth.”

Established in Nigeria in 2017 to capitalise on the growing demand for wireless communications across Africa, PAT has emerged as a prominent telecommunications and tower infrastructure provider in Nigeria, playing an indispensable role in the nationwide expansion of mobile communications. 

Since founding, PAT has built a successful business model centred around establishing tailored, long-term contracts with blue-chip customers, including Nigeria’s leading mobile network operators (MNOs) and internet service providers (ISPs). 

Nigeria is an attractive market for digital infrastructure in Africa. 

Underpinned by its strong demographics, it is Africa’s leading telecommunications market by number of mobile subscribers (208m) and contributed c.13% of national GDP in 2021 compared to 8% in 2015. 

As of December 2021, there were 41,120 towers in Nigeria mostly supporting third generation (3G) and fourth generation (4G) technology across the country. 

However, according to Nigeria’s Ministry of Communications, the country needs between 70,000 to 80,000 towers to enable proper quality and coverage for 4G and 5G technology, creating a supply gap of more than 30,000 towers. 

This investment will enable PAT to capitalise on this opportunity and help close this gap, providing world-class digital infrastructure to support Africa's economic development.

 PAT’s experienced management team will work closely with DPI and Verod to accelerate its strategic plan, leveraging their expertise in areas such as market entry, operational efficiency, and talent management. With the support of both investors, PAT will deepen relationships with existing partners, expand its customer base, and grow its footprint of towers to reach new parts of the country where mobile and wireless penetration remains low. PAT will also benefit from DPI’s experience in scaling towers companies, as the first institutional investor in Eaton Towers, another of Africa’s leading telecoms businesses it exited in 2019.

Azeez Amida, CEO of Pan African Towers, said: “As a proud Nigerian-founded and run business, Pan African Towers is on a mission to accelerate the Nigerian market and support the growth of the mobile telecommunications sector in the country. We also have a clear strategic vision to grow the business sustainably, including actively reducing the carbon footprint of our network to uphold best-in-class ESG practices. We are excited to partner with DPI and Verod and will leverage their sector experience and market expertise to help us achieve these goals. The evolution of Nigeria’s mobile and wireless industry presents significant opportunities for our business, and we look forward to being a part of this next chapter of growth.”

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