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Zain KSA’s board of directors has approved the binding offer submitted by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) led consortium to acquire a 80% majority stake in the telco’s 8,069 passive tower infrastructure for a value of SAR 3.026 billion (USD 807 million).

The consortium offer will see the PIF acquiring a 60% stake, Sultan Holding Company acquiring 10%, and Prince Saud bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz acquiring 10%. Zain KSA will own the remaining 20% stake, with the PIF having a call option to buy this remaining 20% for a specified amount.

Bader Al Kharafi, Zain vice chairman and Group CEO, and Zain KSA vice chairman, commented, “This transaction creates enormous shareholder value and gives Zain KSA greater financial muscle to invest in cutting-edge technologies and innovation that enhance the customer mobile and data experience. We congratulate the Kingdom’s leadership, the PIF and regulatory authorities for their wisdom in creating an environment that raises the telecom sector to new heights in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”

Zain KSA will sell its passive, physical towers infrastructure and retain all other wireless communication antennas, software, technology, and intellectual property with respect to managing its telecom network. This step will enhance the efforts of both Zain KSA and PIF to upgrade the Kingdom’s ICT ecosystem, by maximizing the efficiency of the tower infrastructure through the combined expertise of Zain KSA and the PIF to enhance the sector's efficiency and financial feasibility.

Al Kharafi added, “The unlocking of capital to focus on higher yielding digital investments and optimization of infrastructure that creates internal efficiencies is a core element of Zain’s transformational ‘4Sight’ strategy, empowering Zain to enhance the meaningful connectivity we provide the communities, businesses and governments we serve. I also wish to recognize the concerted and joint efforts of the Zain KSA board of directors and the Zain Group and Zain KSA teams in finalizing this first of its kind transaction in KSA with the visionary PIF-led consortium.”  

Al Kharafi concluded that the proceeds of this sale will enhance the company’s financial liquidity and profitability. The completion of this transaction in Saudi Arabia, follows similar pioneering tower deals Zain has completed in its operations in Kuwait and Jordan.

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