Zain Group, a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East and Africa, has announced that its operation in Iraq has entered into a 15-year agreement to sell and lease back the passive physical infrastructure of its 4,968 tower portfolio in Iraq to TASC Towers Iraq for US$180 million.
The deal also involves TASC Towers Iraq expanding the network and building new tower sites across the country to meet growing demand for data connectivity; this will include 198 new sites over the next 12 months. TASC Towers will also manage Zain Iraq’s supporting facilities such as power generators, fuel tanks and shelters.
Zain Iraq will retain its active infrastructure, including wireless communication radios, antennas, intelligent software, transmission systems, and intellectual property.
TASC Towers, headquartered in Dubai, is an international tower operator focused on sale and leaseback, build-to-suit and tower-related investments in the Middle East, North & East Africa and South Asia markets. TASC Towers’ subsidiary in Iraq will work on optimizing co-location of mobile network sites with other telco operators in the country, aiming for better utilization of mobile site infrastructure and the reduction of power generators – and hence the reduction of the industry’s carbon footprint.
Zain says the transaction creates shareholder value and efficiencies by giving Zain Iraq flexibility to invest in network upgrades and cutting-edge ICT technologies, and focus on its core business and customers.
This Iraq tower sale is the fourth such transaction undertaken by Zain following the transfer of 2,830 towers in Jordan, 1,620 towers in Kuwait and 8,100 towers in Saudi Arabia.