Telecommunications giants Ooredoo Group and Zain Group, in partnership with TASC Towers, have unveiled plans to consolidate their telecom towers in a cash and share deal, forming what will be the largest tower company in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.
This strategic collaboration is set to combine 30,000 towers, boasting an estimated enterprise value of USD 2.2 billion.
As part of the restructuring, Ooredoo and Zain will each retain an equal and substantial stake of 49.3 percent in the newly formed entity. The remaining shareholding will be held by the founders of TASC through Digital Infrastructure Assets LLP, with continued management of the business operations.
The amalgamated telecom tower entity anticipates an impressive annual run-rate revenue nearing USD 500 million, coupled with an anticipated annual EBITDAaL (after leases) surpassing USD 200 million post-closings across various countries, including Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria, and Tunisia. These robust financial projections solidify the company’s potential for sustained profitability and growth.
This significant alliance marks a pivotal stride in the strategic pursuits of Ooredoo and Zain, aligning with their visions of evolving into smarter telcos and fostering a value-focused portfolio. Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, MD and Group CEO of Ooredoo, Bader Al-Kharafi, Zain Vice-Chairman & Group CEO, and Iyad Mazhar, Founder & CEO of TASC, jointly expressed their commitment to driving shareholder value and growth through this venture.
The tower company, operating independently, will offer Passive Infrastructure as a Service (PIaaS) in a partnership model, leveraging the combined assets of Ooredoo and Zain. This groundbreaking approach provides mobile network operators with a capital-efficient alternative for passive infrastructure management, promoting cost-effectiveness and environmental sustainability.
While TASC will manage passive infrastructure, both Ooredoo and Zain will retain control over their active infrastructure components, including wireless communication antennas, intelligent software, and proprietary network management systems.
The completion timeline for this transformative transaction foresees initial market closings in 2024, signaling a strategic shift within the telecommunications landscape of the MENA region.