Banking & Finance Saudi Telecom unit to buy European towers for $1.34bn By Pramod Kumar April 21, 2023 Reuters The discussions seek to combine the 30,000 telecommunication tower assets owned by Ooredoo, Zain and TASC into a jointly owned independent tower firm Tawal, a Saudi Telecom Company (STC) subsidiary, has agreed to buy tower infrastructure worth 1.22 billion Euros ($1.34 billion) from United Group’s telecommunications tower assets. The agreement supports STC’s strategy to expand its international footprint in key markets with significant growth potential, the Saudi-listed telecom firm said in a statement. STC is majority owned by the country’s sovereign Public Investment Fund. Tawal will buy the mobile infrastructure unit of United Group in Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia, which has more than 4,800 towers, providing the full range of passive infrastructure services from ground-based towers, rooftops small cells to in-building solutions. As part of the 20-year master services agreement with United Group, Tawal will deploy over 2,000 additional sharable sites, while co-location relationships with other mobile network operators will be maintained and expanded. Mohammed Alhakbani, CEO of Tawal, said that the partnership marks the company’s first investment in the European market and its goal to continue to provide innovative and efficient ICT infrastructure solutions. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval from the relevant authorities in Bulgaria and Slovenia. Upon completion, Tawal operations in the European market will be rebranded as “Tawal Europe” and will serve as a platform for future European expansion, STC said. Tawal currently owns a portfolio of over 16,000 telecom towers.