Zain Kuwait sells 1,620 mobile towers for $130 mn to IHS

Zain Kuwait has completed the sale and leaseback of the passive physical infrastructure of its 1,620 mobile tower portfolio for $130 million or KD 40 million to IHS Holding.
Zain retail shop
The telecom tower transaction is the first sale and leaseback of telecom towers in the Middle East region by a licensed mobile operator, Zain said in a statement.

Zain in 2017 announced that it would sell 1,600 telecom towers to IHS for $165 million. It is not clear whether the latest agreement with IHS is a revised deal.

The current deal was aimed at helping Zain to maximise efficiency in its operating model, taking into account future lease terms and the expansion of 5G towers across Kuwait. Zain is selling only its passive, physical infrastructure to the new entity and will retain its intelligent software, technology and intellectual property with respect to managing its network.

Bader Al-Kharafi, group CEO of Zain, said: “This transaction unlocks value for shareholders as it gives us greater flexibility to focus on higher yielding digital investments, 5G network expansion and operational efficiencies in Kuwait.”

Sam Darwish, chairman and Group CEO of HIS, said: “We have successfully concluded this transaction with Zain and look forward to a long and successful partnership over the coming years in Kuwait and potentially beyond.”