Saudi Arabia’s PIF, stc Group sign deals to form region’s largest telecom tower firm

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced it has signed deals with Saudi Telecommunications Company (stc Group) that will see PIF acquire a majority stake in Saudi Telecom Co.’s tower unit for $2.3 billion and plans to merge it with other local assets to create the region’s largest telecom tower company.

The PIF bought a 51 percent stake in Telecommunication Towers Company Limited (TAWAL), the largest telecommunications infrastructure company in Saudi Arabia and one of the largest in the region, with an enterprise value of $5.85 billion as per the agreement.

Subsequently, PIF and stc Group will consolidate TAWAL and Golden Lattice Investment Company (GLIC) – in which PIF holds a majority shareholding – into a newly merged entity, according to a PIF press release.

The agreements follow TAWAL’s acquisition of infrastructure assets in Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia, making this Saudi national champion the region’s largest independent tower company.

The newly merged entity will possess approximately 30,000 mobile tower sites and will become one of the largest tower companies globally, with estimated annual revenues of $1.3 billion.

The PIF will own 54 percent of the combined new entity and 43.1 percent by stc Group, with minority shareholders owning the remaining issued share capital.

The transactions are expected to be completed in the second half of 2024 after obtaining all required regulatory approvals and satisfying other necessary conditions under the agreements, according to the PIF.

“Fast, reliable and accessible connectivity is a key enabler of growth and a cornerstone for the society, and these agreements mark a major stride towards a more interconnected digital future,” the Head of MENA Direct Investments at PIF Raid Ismail said.

The new entity is expected to significantly enhance consumer experience and network coverage, as well as improve connectivity and mobile internet speeds by consolidating Saudi Arabia’s tower assets.

It will also deliver operational efficiencies, help drive wider innovation in the telecommunication sector across the region and globally, and support the development of a more efficient and frictionless business environment.

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