Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Qatar’s Ooredoo plans to sell 20,000 telecom towers

Lionel Messi in PSG shirt with Ooredoo logo Ooredoo/Twitter
Lionel Messi holds up his Paris Saint-Germain shirt after signing for the club in August 2021. Ooredoo has been PSG's shirt sponsor since 2013

Qatari telecoms company Ooredoo is preparing to sell 20,000 of its towers, it revealed on Monday.

Sources said it had engaged Morgan Stanley to work on the deal. The sources added that Ooredoo is looking to sell towers in the Gulf region and other markets including Iraq and Algeria through a sale-and-leaseback arrangement.

In a stock exchange statement on Monday, Ooredoo said it was “preparing for a potential carve out of its tower portfolio to extract optimal value for its infrastructure”.

The statement did not elaborate on the plans and the company declined to comment further, while Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The transaction is at the second stage of bidding, which is expected to be followed by binding bids from investors, the sources said.

Ooredoo might package the deal in more than one bundle to separate investors because it could be difficult to find one buyer for the entire portfolio owing to the nature of the markets and their respective risk premiums.

There have been several such sales in recent years as telecoms companies seek to reduce debt and costs.

Deutsche Telekom started the sale of its towers operation in March, according to sources, in a deal that could value the business at close to €18 billion ($17.4 billion).

Gulf region carriers have also been divesting from tower assets to reduce infrastructure costs and focus on information and communications technology, with such deals attracting specialised tower operators looking to enter new, high-growth markets.

Omantel sold 2,890 towers to Helios Towers for $575 million in 2021, Saudi Telecom spun off its 15,000-plus towers into a subsidiary called Tawal in 2019 and Zain sold 1,620 telecoms towers to IHS Holding for $130 million in 2020.