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PIF, stc to form region’s largest telecom tower company

PIF, stc to form region’s largest telecom tower company
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Riyadh – Mubasher: The Public Investment Fund (PIF) inked a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Saudi Telecom Company (stc), on 21 April 2024, for a stake acquisition in TAWAL. 

The Saudi fund unveiled plans to own 51% shareholding in TAWAL, one of the largest information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure in the region, in October 2022, according to a bourse disclosure.

Under the deal, PIF and stc Group will merge TAWAL and Golden Lattice Investment Company (GLIC), in which the fund holds a majority shareholding, to create the largest regional company in the telecommunication infrastructure sector.

stc will inject around SAR 533 million into the new entity’s capital to maintain its 43.06% ownership, PIF will hold 54% equity, with GLIC minority shareholders owning the remaining issued share capital.

The combined unit will own and manage a portfolio of around 30,000 towers across five countries. It will have estimated annual revenues of approximately $1.30 billion.

Meanwhile, the transactions are expected to be completed in the second half (H2) of 2024 after obtaining all required regulatory approvals.

Raid Ismail, Head of MENA Direct Investments at PIF said: “By bringing together the assets of GLIC and TAWAL, we will establish a consolidated platform on which the telecommunications sector can flourish and give people a better experience to best connect communities and businesses.”

Motaz Alangari, Group Chief Investment Officer of stc Group, indicated: “These agreements are part of stc Group’s continuous endeavour to grow and maximize value in the most sustainable manner, by recycling capital while retaining ownership in strategic value-added assets to benefit from the return on these assets and enable expansion into new domains.”

“Combining TAWAL and GLIC is a stepping-stone to consolidating the Saudi tower market and driving further efficiencies and operational excellence to deliver superior experiences and value for customers,” Alangari continued.

The joint agreements align with PIF and stc Group’s objectives to boost the Saudi telecommunication infrastructure sector and unlock its consolidated potential.

This follows TAWAL’s acquisition of infrastructure assets in Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia, which marked its entry into the European market.