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Saudi wealth fund makes offer for 51% of Saudi Telecom towers unit

Saudi Telecom Company said on Monday the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund had made a non-binding offer to buy 51% of its towers business, valuing the latter at almost $6 billion.

The offer from the sovereign Public Investment Fund, which owns 64% of STC, is subject to a final agreement and approvals, STC said.

Telecom Towers Company (TAWAL), fully owned by STC, is valued at 21.94 billion riyals ($5.84 billion), STC said.

Saudi Telecom said the offer was in line with its growth strategy to “expand by retaining stakes in value-added strategic assets across its subsidiaries, as well as benefiting from the return on these assets” that will allow it to invest further and maximise shareholder returns.

PIF, which manages $608 billion in assets, was the second most active state investor from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1 this year, with 39 deals valued at $17.2 billion in that period, according to wealth fund tracker Global SWF.

PIF is at the centre of the top oil exporting country’s plan to wean its economy off oil by building new industries.

Earlier this year, it led a consortium to buy a majority stake in mobile telecommunications company Zain Saudi Arabia’s towers infrastructure for just over 3 billion riyals, renaming the unit Golden Lattice Investment Company (GLI).

Separately, sources told Reuters last month Qatari telecommunications firm Ooredoo (ORDS.QA) is considering the sale of its tower network. Reuters

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