Zain Saudi Arabia is close to reaching an agreement to sell around 7,500 mobile phone towers to Lebanon-based TASC Towers for $500 million, in a deal which could be completed by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported.

TASC, which buys and leases towers in the Middle East and Asia, is in talks with banks to raise funds.

“Zain remains interested in such a transaction and discussions are still in progress,” Zain Saudi Arabia’s CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos said in an email to Bloomberg, while a spokesman for TASC declined to comment.

“Negotiations of this nature are complex, protracted and there is no certainty that these will lead to a transaction. There are no material developments to report at this stage,” Kaliaropoulos added.

The company said in December 2016 it was in talks with TASC and Acwa Holding over a deal for its towers.

Meanwhile Saudi Telecom Company and Mobily, the country’s top operators, are in talks to merge their towers.

In May, Zain Group CEO and vice-chairman Bader Al- Kharafi noted Zain Saudi Arabia “recorded its first ever net profit” during Q1 2017, and forecast further improvements in what he called a “key market” as the company began to reap the benefit of a cost optimisation programme and network upgrades.