Kuwait's Zain completes $130m tower sale, leaseback deal

February 13, 2020

Zain Group has announced deal covering its 1,620 mobile tower portfolio with IHS Holding Limited

Kuwait-based telecoms operator Zain Group has announced the completion of a sale and leaseback of its 1,620 mobile tower portfolio for $130 million to IHS Holding Limited.

The transaction is the first sale and leaseback of telecom towers in the Middle East region by a licensed mobile operator, Zain said in a statement.

Under the terms of the transaction, Zain said it is selling only its physical infrastructure to the new entity and will retain its intelligent software, technology and intellectual property with respect to managing its network.

The transaction has been formally approved by Kuwait’s Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority, the statement added.

Bader Al-Kharafi, vice-chairman and group CEO of Zain, said: “This historical transaction unlocks value for shareholders as it gives us greater flexibility to focus on higher yielding digital investments, 5G expansion and operational efficiencies in Kuwait.

'It also supports Zain’s transformational strategy in becoming a digital lifestyle provider through optimizing service delivery and enhancing customer experience.”

Sam Darwish, chairman and group CEO of IHS, added: “We are delighted to have successfully concluded this transaction with Zain and look forward to a long and successful partnership over the coming years in Kuwait and potentially beyond.”