Saudi cellcos in discussion to create JV tower business

11 Feb 2016

Saudi Arabian cellcos Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Zain and Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) are reportedly in discussions to spin off their mobile towers assets into a separate company, Reuters reports, citing Saudi Arabian financial news source Maaal. It is however unclear whether the new business would be owned jointly by the telcos, or whether they would sell it off to a third party.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, during 2011 STC and Mobily were said to be finalising the details of a scheme to merge their respective cell tower businesses in order to save on infrastructure costs; completion was originally expected before end-2011, though talks subsequently stalled. More recently, in February 2015 Mobily issued a tender for advisory services to look at strategic options for the its towers portfolio, with bids understood to have been submitted shortly afterwards.