Zain to sell transmitter towers?

28 January 2015 |


Kuwait telco Zain has hired advisors for the potential sale of transmitter towers in eight markets across Africa and the Middle East, Reuters reports.

The operator owns controlling stakes in Kuwait, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, Bahrain and Jordan, with a smaller stake in Zain Saudi and a management contract for Lebanon’s Touch, and has allegedly appointed Citigroup to consider its options.

“We have appointed advisors to advise us on the best business model for Zain, whether it’s tower sharing or sale and leaseback of towers across some of our operations,” Zain told reporters in an emailed statement.

“It’s early stages. To date there is no final decision on whether we will sell or form a tower company in any of our operations.”

Selling tower infrastructure allows operators to reduce capex and the duplication of resources, as well as free up cash for other projects, and Zain would follow the likes of Bharti Airtel and Etisalat if a sale were to materialise.

“Partnering in a newly formed tower sharing company of selling networks to enhance cash positions and then leasing them back are several considerations that Zain, like many other operators across the region, has been deliberating for several years now,” the company said

“Each particular Zain operation is unique and either of the two models may be adapted according to what best serves Zain.”