Tower firm IHS Holding and its second largest shareholder Wendel have publicly confirmed they have settled a recent dispute.

The companies confirmed an agreement has been reached on corporate governance matters, including lowering the ownership threshold for investors to nominate directors.

IHS Towers loan
– Getty Images

African-focused cell tower operator IHS had been embroiled in a governance dispute with some of investors including French activist investor Wendel and MTN Group — which has a 26 percent stake in the company.

Both Wendel and MTN Group, which combined own around 45 percent of IHS, have argued that all shareholders with at least a 10 percent stake should have the power to nominate board members.

The situation ramped up a notch, reported Techpoint Africa, when Wendel filed a case with the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands that sought to force a vote at IHS around governance proposals after the board didn't raise such issues during a shareholders' meeting in June 2023.

However, the dispute has been resolved, with Wendel and IHS agreeing to reduce the ownership threshold for shareholders to propose business at general meetings or nominate directors.

As part of the agreement, the ownership threshold has been lowered to 10 percent from the current 30 percent following IHS' 2024 annual general meeting (AGM), and on an aggregate basis following the 2025 AGM, confirmed both companies.

In addition to this, a new right will be introduced for shareholders that hold at least 25 percent of shares to request a general meeting following IHS' 2025 AGM, while the threshold for removing a director by shareholders' vote would be lowered to a 50 percent majority from the current two-thirds majority.

IHS owns and operates more than 40,000 towers across 11 markets in Africa.

Last year it suffered a big blow when it lost a contract for the lease of 2,500 to MTN Nigeria to rival American Tower.