Saturday, 16 January 2021

Omantel’s tower sale could generate around $500 million

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Monday 14 December 20

According to reports, three bidders are set to go head to head to for ownership of the state-controlled operator’s tower infrastructure

Rumours that Omantel was first looking to sell its tower infrastructure came in October, with the government-owned telco feeling the economic strain of the coronavirus, having seen a 28% drop in profit since the start of the financial year…

Rumours that Omantel was first looking to sell its tower infrastructure came in October, with the government-owned telco feeling the economic strain of the coronavirus, having seen a 28% drop in profit since the start of the financial year. The sale of the roughly 3,000 towers would reportedly net them around $500 million according to sources, going a long way to helping to shore up the companies finances. 
 
Now, sources have told Reuters that the potential sale has attracted three bidders for the infrastructure. Omani infrastructure fund Rakiza has reportedly partnered with IHS Towers for a bid, while domestic tower firm Oman Towers has made a bid. The final bidder comes in the form of Helios Towers, yet another tower infrastructure firm, primarily operating in Sub-Saharan Africa.
 
According to sources, the results of the bidding are expected on Thursday.
 
The sale of tower infrastructure has been a major trend throughout this year in many markets around the world. In Europe, Cellnex has been perhaps the biggest beneficiary this year, most recently buying CK Hutchison’s European towers for $12 billion, seeing their tower portfolio swell to over 8,000. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Zain sold around 1,600 towers to IHS Holding for $130 million earlier in the year, and Saudi Telecom is also considering its options for its 17,000 towers.
 
With a vaccine emerging for the coronavirus, Omantel will hope that its financial situation will improve in 2021.
 
 
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