Public Investment Fund (PIF), the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, is currently considering a deal to merge the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Zain Saudi Arabia’s cellular infrastructure in a process that the media outlets Bloomberg and Al Arabiya.net said would create the kingdom’s largest cellular company.
Bloomberg sources said that if the deal is completed, it will create a company with 23,000 towers, and it is likely that the Saudi Public Investment Fund will list it on the Saudi Exchange (Tadawul).
The report further said that the merger would reduce overlap in places where both companies own towers, investing in raising coverage and mobile internet speeds more efficient.
In September, Zain KSA's board of directors approved the non-binding offers received from the PIF, Prince Saud bin Fahad bin Abdulaziz, and Sultan Holding Co., to acquire 60%, 10%, and 10% stakes, respectively, in its tower infrastructure, according to a report by Argaam.
The offers estimated the value of 8,069 towers at SAR 3.026 billion ($807 million).
STC, which is majority-owned by the PIF, spun out its more than 15,000 towers into a new subsidiary called Tawal in 2019.
The Saudi Arabia telecom market is expected to register a CAGR of over 10% through 2026, according to a forecast by mordorintelligence.com.