Zain Group’s Saudi Arabia unit slightly revised the price of a tower sale and leaseback deal with investment company IHS Holding, upping the fee from SAR2.43 billion ($648 million) originally announced in November 2018 to SAR2.52 billion.
No reason for the price change was given.
Zain KSA said in a statement it will sell “its passive, physical infrastructure to IHS and will retain its intelligent software, technology and intellectual property with respect to managing its network”.
Bader Al-Kharafi, Zain Group CEO reiterated the deal “is pioneering in many respects, not least in the way it allows us to reduce debt and free up capital to invest in other areas of the business focused on customer satisfaction and service delivery”.
The remaining terms of the deal remain the same: a lease period of 15 years, with a five-year renewal option and the building of an additional 1,500 towers over the next six years. The areement is subject to the approval of the Kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission and financing authorities.
In January Al-Kharafi hailed heavy infrastructure investments and organisational changes for preparing the company to commercialise 5G, though currency issues continued to take a bite out of its bottom-line in Q4 2018.