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Zain Inks $165m Deal with IHS to Sell and Leaseback Mobile Tower Portfolio

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Zain Inks $165m Deal with IHS to Sell and Leaseback Mobile Tower Portfolio Image Credit: Zain

Zain, Kuwait’s leading mobile operator announced that it has entered an agreements to sell and leaseback the passive physical infrastructure of its mobile tower portfolio in Kuwait to IHS for $165m.

IHS, the largest independent tower operator in Europe, Middle East and Africa by tower count and the third largest independent multinational tower company globally, partners with Towershare to close the deal.

The transaction will result in the formation of a new entity that will acquire and manage Zain’s tower assets in Kuwait, with Zain assuming a minority shareholding in this newly formed entity.

Zain has more than 1,600 mobile telecommunication towers located in prime and strategic locations across Kuwait and this transaction will enable Zain to focus on its core business and customers.

Upon completion, the transaction will be the first sale and leaseback of telecom towers in the Middle East region by a licensed mobile operator, and creates the first independent tower operator of scale in the region. 

Bader Al-Kharafi, Vice Chairman and Group CEO, Zain
This deal will unlock value that can be more efficiently deployed in new technologies and higher yielding investments for Zain, and at the same time pave the way for further network expansion and tower infrastructure sharing in Kuwait.

Issam Darwish, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, IHS 
We expect significant growth in wireless phone and data usage in a number of emerging markets over the next few years and we believe, given the significant experience we have gained in our African operations, we are well positioned to meet the growing needs of wireless network operators in these countries.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

Ray can be reached at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com.



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