STC (Saudi Telecom Company) has reached an agreement to acquire tower assets from Atheeb Telecommunication for SAR230 million ($61 million).
The firm has not specified the number of towers covered by the agreement, revealing only that it will finance the deal via “internal resources”. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
STC’s acquisition is an atypical move given that many operators in Saudi Arabia are divesting or merging their tower transmitters to private tower companies then leasing back the capacity in order to bring down costs.
In August last year, STC and Mobily began talks over forming a joint venture for mobile towers, but thus far nothing has been confirmed in this regard. Zain was also mooted as a potential candidate for tower-sharing, but has now stated that it aims to divest its tower portfolio by mid-2107 for around $500 million.
The Atheeb deal is not the only acquisition on the cards for STC – the company was recently inked to a possible acquisition of a stake in Turk Telecom’s majority shareholder Otas.