Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz Mazi, specialist and investor in communications and information technologies, considered that the sale of the Saudi mobile telecommunications company “Zain” of an 80% stake in its tower unit is an adequate deal for the company’s liquidity needs, in how much it would reduce the debt burden.
He added in an interview with “Al Arabiya”, that the deal will get good returns for the Public Investment Fund and other investors, as PIF, Prince Saud bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz and Sultan Holding Company have submitted bids to acquire holdings in Infrastructure of the Saudi “Zain” towers, in proportions of 60%, 10% and 10% respectively.
Mazy pointed out that Zain and other telecoms companies benefit from unbundling the ownership, operation and maintenance of the towers, as part of increasing capital efficiency and its returns, adding that the main reason behind relying on companies to telecommunications to sell their tower assets or separate them in companies separated from their operations, lies in the fact that the infrastructure of the towers has a very high cost in terms of operating and investment expenses, while its returns are much higher.
He continued: “This global trend has been around for years, and in Saudi Arabia have been several attempts in the race to create a consortium of companies or to purchase the structure of the towers by an external company, precisely because of this activation of feasibility and the ability to provide a service at lower prices and better returns. “
He explained that among the announced principles and objectives of the Public Investment Fund, the investment in infrastructure and communications infrastructure is an important aspect of the kingdom’s directives.
He also pointed out that the companies that manage and own the towers are among the largest REITs or real estate funds in the world, with their distributed returns reaching 6%.
On the other hand, the specialist and investor in communications and information technology believes the move could provide an incentive for Mobily, which could resort to taking the same step by separating the tower unit in a separate entity owned by the company, after which STC also did the same.
It is reported that Zain Saudi Arabia will retain ownership of the remaining 20% stake. The deals estimated the value of the infrastructure (consisting of 8,069 towers) at 3,026 billion Saudi riyals ($ 807 million), according to a company statement on the site. web of the Saudi market “Tadawul”, while the agency “Bloomberg” reported that the offer of the Public Investment Fund to buy a controlling stake in the Telephone Towers unit of the second largest telecommunications company in the Kingdom, for a value of 484 million dollars.
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