Zain Saudi Arabia (Zain KSA) has terminated its sale and leaseback agreement with Mauritius-based IHS Holding due to regulatory reasons. The telco said in a press release on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul): ‘We have received a letter from the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) indicating that IHS Holding did not fulfil the regulatory requirements pertaining to the sale and leaseback of the passive towers infrastructure’, therefore the company has ‘disengaged and terminated the agreement to sell and re-rent the infrastructure’ to IHS.
In March 2019 Zain KSA signed the agreement to sell and lease back the passive physical infrastructure of its mobile tower portfolio to IHS. The deal was first agreed in November 2018, though the original transaction value was subsequently revised from SAR2.43 billion (USD646.9 million) to SAR2.52 billion. Zain KSA planned to sell 8,100 towers with a lease back period of 15 years, with a five-year renewal option. Furthermore, the agreement included the building of an additional 1,500 new towers over the next six years.