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Zain sells stake in Saudi towers to sovereign wealth fund

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Zain KSA's board has approved non-binding offers from three sources to acquire stakes in its towers.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), Prince Saud Bin Fahad and Sultan Holding Company are to acquire stakes of 60%, 10% and 10%, respectively, with Zain KSA holding the remaining 20%.

The deal values Zain KSA Towers at US$807 million.

In its statement Zain KSA said it plans to sell its passive, physical towers infrastructure and retain all other wireless communication antennas, software, technology, and Ips.

It added: "Zain KSA will be working with the different parties on the best way to execute the offer."

In Q1, Zain KSA entered into a memorandum of understanding with Mobily to merge the towers of both under a single entity, aiming to maximize efficiency and improve coverage throughout the kingdom. However, Mobily later backed out citing strategic reasons.

As Saudi Arabia continues to diversify its economy, PIF is no stranger to telecoms investments. Last year it took stakes in Reliance Industries’ Jio Platforms and also bought shares in BT. It has also committed to invest up to $3.3 billion in the Middle East's gaming industry and holds stakes in Activision Blizzard Inc., Electronic Arts Inc. and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc, and SNK Corp, among others.