After losing MTN Nigeria's contract to lease 2,500 towers, IHS said that it would match award winner American Tower's offer.

Reuters reports that IHS has improved its terms months after ATC confirmed its deal with MTN.

Nigerian telecoms tower
– Getty Images

MTN announced in September that it was re-negotiating its tower contracts in Nigeria.

The 2,500 sites, which IHS had provided services for, were due to expire in 2024 and 2025.

After a bidding process was held, MTN awarded the contract to ATC and said that it would lease their towers instead.

However, IHS Towers Chairman and CEO Sam Darwish told Reuters that the company is willing to match ATC's terms.

"IHS has offered improved commercial terms on the 2,500 towers to close the gap [between the offers] as our main aim is to prevent network disruption in Nigeria," he said.

Darwish didn't disclose the terms but noted that the towers only represent a small fraction of IHS' tenancies.

MTN represents a big partner for either company, given the operator has more than 77 million mobile subscribers across Nigeria.

Back in 2014, the operator and IHS struck an agreement to transfer the operations of more than 9,000 Nigerian towers to the specialist company.

MTN previously noted that it opted to select American Tower over IHS following the expiry of the existing deal following a review of bids received in a tender to operate the tower assets.

IHS owns 16,000 towers in Nigeria, of which 14,600 are leased by MTN. Around 13 percent of MTN's portfolio is with ATC, while 80 percent is with IHS.

MTN is set to review other tower contracts running between 2025 and 2029 soon.