MTN Group Ltd. has begun talks with phone-tower operator IHS Holding Ltd. over South African towers the wireless carrier is seeking to sell in a deal valued at as much as $2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Discussions with potential buyers could result in a joint venture in which Johannesburg-based MTN would retain a large stake, said people familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. American Tower Corp. has previously expressed interest in the towers.
IHS competes with American Tower and Helios Towers Africa for infrastructure as demand for wireless access increases in Africa. Phone companies are selling towers to lower the cost of their operations and preserve funds for feeding a boom in data usage.