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STC Group and PIF to create region’s largest telecom tower firm

PIF will hold a controlling stake of 53.99%, with STC retaining a significant 43.06% ownership.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has finalised deals with Saudi Telecommunications Company (stc Group) to acquire a majority stake in its tower unit for $2.3bn, with plans to merge it with other local assets to form the largest telecom tower company in the region.

Under the agreement, PIF will purchase a 51% stake in Telecommunication Towers Company Limited (TAWAL), valued at $5.85bn, making it the largest telecommunications infrastructure company in Saudi Arabia and one of the largest in the region.

Following the acquisition, PIF and STC Group will merge TAWAL with Golden Lattice Investment Company (GLIC), majority-owned by PIF, to create a new entity. This move comes after TAWAL’s recent acquisition of infrastructure assets in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia, positioning it as the largest independent tower company in the region.

The combined entity will boast approximately 30,000 mobile tower sites, making it one of the largest tower companies globally, with estimated annual revenues of $1.3bn. PIF will hold a 54% stake in the new entity, with stc Group owning 43.1%, and minority shareholders possessing the remaining share capital.

The transactions are slated for completion in the second half of 2024, pending regulatory approvals and fulfillment of other conditions. According to Raid Ismail, Head of MENA Direct Investments at PIF, these agreements signify a significant step towards a more interconnected digital future, highlighting the importance of fast, reliable, and accessible connectivity for societal growth.

The new entity is poised to enhance consumer experience, expand network coverage, and improve connectivity and mobile internet speeds in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, it is expected to drive operational efficiencies, spur innovation in the telecommunication sector regionally and globally, and foster a more efficient business environment.