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STC bringing internet services IPO forward

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Saudi Telecom Company is in the process of submitting an application to register and offer shares in Solutions by STC on the Saudi Stock Exchange.

STC confirmed the news in a filing which stated that a feasibility study had concluded and Solutions by STC is "in the process of submitting an application for the registration and offering of its shares to the Capital Market Authority and of an application for the listing of its shares to the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul)".

The possibility of an IPO for Solutions by STC, the internet services unit of STC, was first reported by Bloomberg in September of last year, with a completion timeline of late 2021.

Those reports claimed STC was considering a 30% sale that could value the Solutions at US$2.7 billion. On the back of that news, STC shares gained 3.4% to trade at 102 riyals a piece.

Reacting to the new timeline, STC's share price closed on 117.60 riyals yesterday and is currently trading at 118.60 riyals.

The latest developments bring the project forward by a significant stretch and could even see the IPO progress before CEO Nasser Al Nasser steps back from his role, effective 28 March. Al Nasser announced his resignation in November due to personal circumstances.

Solutions by STC is the trading name of STC subsidiary Arabian Internet and Communications Services Company.

On Monday, STC launched a new digital operations control centre, which is said it the largest in the MENA region and supports the second phase of its digital transformation strategy DARE.  

With an area of more than 42,000 square meters, the centre operates the biggest international gateways in the MENA region, with capacity exceeding 8.4 terabits per second, and connections to more than four submarine cables.

It also operates and monitors the largest and latest long-range correspondence networks in the region, which exceed 155,000 kilometres of fibre optics. These networks will boost connectivity between the East and the West through the continental marine stations located in a number of coastal cities in the Arabian Gulf, such as the city of Al-Khobar and the cities of Jeddah and Yanbu on the Red Sea Coast.

Two more stations are expected to be added in the cities of Duba and Haql to provide "intelligent connectivity systems for all of the world's marine cable systems".

 

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