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Al-Nahla Group to invest $120m in Smile Communications Tanzania

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Smile Telecoms Holdings (Smile Group) has secured a $120 million investment from Al Nahla Group to expand its network footprint in Tanzania.

The $120 million pledge from Al-Nahla Group, the 100% shareholder and owner of Smile Group, was established through one of its related entities, 966 Co Sarl, to Smile Communications Tanzania.

"Following Smile Tanzania's recent investment in network expansion, we are excited to bring the best 4G LTE broadband internet services to customers in Tanzania," said Ahmad Farroukh, group CEO of Smile Group and chairman of Smile Tanzania.

"Dar es Salaam was the first city in Africa to experience true 4G LTE internet in May 2013. The people in Tanzania will experience another first, enabled by the latest 4G LTE technology, when they connect to Smile Internet with speeds of up to 50Mbps."

The news follows the company's restructuring plan announced in early February 2022, that saw 'the acquisition of control of the Company by the Super Senior Lender and further new funding from the Super Senior Lender' among other things.

According to Smile Group, the new funds implemented via the restructuring plan will strengthen and enable the company to 'safeguard its operations and deliver its commercial objectives'.

"We look forward to expanding our services nationwide and thank the Government of Tanzania, specifically the Ministry of ICT, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority, and the Tanzania Investment Center, for their continued support while strengthening our operations and expanding our network," said Zuweina Farah, country manager of Smile Tanzania.

"We are and stay committed to our people in Tanzania and aim to continue to offer the best 4G LTE broadband internet services in Tanzania."

Founded by H.E. Hassan Abbas Sharbatly, the previous founder of Riyad Bank, the Al-Nahla Group owns circa 9% of Riyad Bank, listed on the Saudi Stock Market with a focus on the automotive, real estate, trading, marine, renewable energy, telecoms and investment sectors.

Smile Group is a pan-African telecoms group with operations in Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Smile Communications Tanzania, under the leadership of Farah, has been expanding its operations and network coverage as well as investment in the redesign and expansion of its network.

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