Zain Iraq seals to tower sale and leaseback

Zain Group, a leading telecommunications provider in the Middle East and Africa, announced that it 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 $180 million.

The deal also includes TASC Towers Iraq expanding the network and building new tower sites across the country to meet the increasing demand for data connectivity. This includes the construction of 198 new sites in the next 12 months. Additionally, TASC Towers will manage Zain Iraq’s supporting facilities such as power generators, fuel tanks, and shelters.

While Zain Iraq will retain its active infrastructure, including wireless communication radios, antennas, intelligent software, transmission systems, and intellectual property. TASC Towers, based in Dubai, is an international tower operator that specializes in sale and leaseback, build-to-suit, and tower-related investments in the Middle East, North and East Africa, and South Asia markets.

TASC Towers’ subsidiary in Iraq will work on optimizing the co-location of mobile network sites with other telecom operators in the country, aiming for better utilization of mobile site infrastructure and the reduction of power generators.

The sale of the towers is expected to create shareholder value and efficiencies by giving Zain Iraq the flexibility to invest in network upgrades and cutting-edge ICT technologies, and focus on its core business and customers. This 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.

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