Saudi Arabia’s PIF bids for 60% stake in Zain KSA’s mobile towers unit

Prince Saud Bin Fahad and Sultan Holding company also plan to acquire shares

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has submitted an offer to buy a 60 per cent stake in the mobile phone towers unit of the kingdom’s second-largest telecom company, Zain KSA.

The Public Investment Fund bid for a stake in the unit along with Prince Saud Bin Fahad and Sultan Holding company, in a deal that would value Zain’s mobile towers unit at 3 billion Saudi riyals ($807 million), Zain KSA said in a statement on Tuesday to the Tadawul stock exchange, where its shares are traded.

Prince Saud Bin Fahad and Sultan Holding company intend to acquire a 10 per cent stake each.

Zain KSA, also known as Mobile Telecommunications Company Saudi Arabia, will retain the remaining 20 per cent share in the unit.

Under the terms of the offers, Zain KSA will sell its passive, physical towers infrastructure and retain all other wireless communication antennas, software and technology.

Zain KSA is the Saudi unit of Kuwait-based telecoms operator Zain Group.

“The offers submitted do not represent any binding commitment and the final agreements are subject to the approval of the official authorities, internal approvals of the respective acquirers, the completion of satisfactory due diligence by the acquirers and any other conditions that may be agreed between the parties,” Zain KSA said.

The PIF plays an integral role in the kingdom's Vision 2030 plan, which seeks to diversify the Arab world's largest economy and reduce its reliance on oil. Under a five-year strategy that was announced in January, the fund aims to more than double the value of its assets under management to $1.07 trillion and commit $40bn a year to develop the domestic economy, until 2025.

Last month, the PIF bought a stake in Italian luxury car maker Pagani, which makes some of the world’s most expensive supercars and counts Mark Zuckerberg and Lionel Messi among its list of high-profile clients.

Saudi Arabia’s economy is expected to grow by 2.4 per cent this year and 4.8 per cent in 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund. The kingdom's non-oil economy is projected to grow by 4.3 per cent this year, according to the fund.

Updated: September 7th 2021, 12:46 PM