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Tue 29 Mar 2016 11:53 AM

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Mobily could raise $2bn from sale of its transmitter towers

Saudi Arabian teleco said sale of 10,000 sites could be complicated, with different landlords for each site

Mobily could raise $2bn from sale of its transmitter towers
Ahmad Farroukh, CEO at Etihad Etisalat Co.

Saudi Arabia’s telecommunications operator Etihad Etisalat Co, known as Mobily, is reviewing offers for its mobile transmitter towers in a bid to increase profits, a company official has said.

Ahmad Farroukh, CEO at Etihad Etisalat Co, told to Bloomberg that Etihad Etisalat was not "after a deal for the sake of a deal.”

“It’s a complicated thing. You have to go to each and every of our 10,000 sites, negotiate the rent with 10,000 landlords and have the consent for them to move to the new tower company."

Digital Bridge Holdings, a company that owns about 10,000 towers in the kingdom, is among the bidders for for Etihad Etisalat’s tower portfolio, which is expected to reach a sale price of as much as $2 billion, Bloomberg reported.

"We received certain indicative offers," Farroukh added. "If the deal is good for our shareholders, for sure I’ll bring it on the table."

Saudi Arabia’s other two operators, Zain Saudi Arabia and Saudi Telecom Co, are also "thinking of the same," he said.

Telecoms operators are increasingly keen to dispose of towers that now provide little competitive advantage due to broadly similar network quality and coverage, Reuters reported recently.

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