Kuwaiti telecoms group Zain (registered as Mobile Telecommunications Company or MTC) has appointed advisors to study the potential sale of base transceiver stations (BTS) in some of its markets, Reuters reports. According to sources familiar with the matter, US-based Citigroup has allegedly been hired to look into Zain’s options. TeleGeography notes that Zain provides mobile voice and data services in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa, namely: Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Sudan and Lebanon (via a Lebanese government network management contract). ‘Partnering in a newly formed tower sharing company or selling networks to enhance cash positions and then leasing them back are several considerations that Zain, like many other operators across the region, has been deliberating for several years now … It’s early stages. To date, there is no final decision on whether we will sell or form a tower company in any of our operations’, the company was cited as saying. However, Zain declined to specify which of its subsidiaries were most likely to participate in a tower deal: ‘Each particular Zain operation is unique and either of the two models may be adapted according to what best serves Zain from a financial point of view’.
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