Zain KSA inks telecom tower deal with IHS for $648 mn

Zain Saudi Arabia announced its telecom tower deal with IHS Holding for SAR 2.43 billion or $648 million.
Telecom towers in rural locationsIHS, the largest independent tower operator in Europe, Middle East and Africa by tower count and the third largest independent tower company globally, will buy more than 8,100 mobile telecom towers in Saudi Arabia from Zain KSA.

Zain KSA is selling its passive, physical infrastructure to IHS and will retain its intelligent software, technology and intellectual property with respect to managing its network.

Zain KSA will lease back the telecom towers for 15 years, with a 5-year renewal option and building of an additional 1500 towers over the next 6 years.

Zain Kuwait earlier sold telecom towers to IHS Holding – in the first sale and leaseback deal of telecom towers in the Middle East region.

Zain KSA reported revenues of $1.5 billion and EBITDA of $510 million, reflecting 35 percent EBITDA margin in the first three quarter of 2018.

Zain KSA reported revenues of $521 million (+8 percent), EBITDA of $194 million (+15 percent) with 37 percent EBITDA margin in the third quarter of 2018. The operator’s total customer base stood at 8 million at the end of September 2018. Data revenues excluding SMS and VAS represent 52 percent of total revenues.

“The sale of Zain KSA’s impressive tower network is a highly positive move, as it creates shareholder value by helping the company reduce its debt position, as the proceeds will be used to reduce the company’s Murabaha facility,” Bader Al Kharafi, group CEO of Zain Saudi Arabia said.