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Saudi PIF to consider bidding for Ooredoo’s tower unit

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Qatari telecommunications firm Ooredoo’s tower assets may be valued at $3 billion to $5 billion

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is weighing submitting the final bid for Qatari telecommunications firm Ooredoo’s network towers, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.

American Tower Corporation, IHS Holding Limited and Helios Towers Plc are contemplating offers for all or part of the portfolio.

Ooredoo’s tower assets, located in the Gulf and other markets, including Iraq and Algeria, may be valued at $3 billion to $5 billion.

The sources stated that bids are due in the coming days, adding that talks are ongoing.

Ooredoo announced in September plans to sell nearly 20,000 towers as part of a shift to an asset-light model. The state-owned telecom major recently sold its Myanmar business for an enterprise value of $576 million.

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.

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.