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Saudi Telecom raises $1.34bn to buy European towers  

TASC Towers will continue to operate independently with a board of non-Zain majority members Reuters
TASC Towers will continue to operate independently with a board of non-Zain majority members

Tawal, a subsidiary of Saudi Telecom Company (STC), has completed the acquisition of three tower companies of United Group in Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia for €1.22 billion ($1.34 billion).

The company agreed to buy tower infrastructure in April as part of its first foray into Europe’s telecoms market.

Tawal raised a Shariah-compliant loan worth $1.42 billion to fund the deal, which received regulatory approvals on August 24, STC said in a statement to the Saudi Exchange.

Saudi National Bank, the biggest lender in Saudi Arabia, contributed $1.02 billion to the loan, of which $300 million was a bridge loan.

UAE-based Dubai Islamic Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank provided a loan of $250 million and $150 million, respectively.

The financial impact of the transaction will be reflected in the third-quarter earnings.

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.  

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