The $575 million deal will see Helios take a 70% stake in the newly incorporated holding company that holds Omantel’s passive tower infrastructure

Today, London-based independent tower company Helios Towers has announced that it has found a partner with which it intends to purchase Omantel’s mobile tower business.

Helios Towers is now set to purchase a 70% stake in the Omantel-owned holding company, while Rakiza Telecommunication Infrastructure, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oman Infrastructure Fund, will hold the remaining 30%.

Omantel’s holding company owns and operates 2,890 mobile sites across the Gulf state, with Helios saying they will build up to 300 more over the next seven years. 

"We are delighted to be partnering with Rakiza, who offers Helios Towers a wealth of local knowledge as we enter the Omani market and seek to strengthen our foothold in the Middle East. Rakiza not only offers a highly experienced management team through its deep public and private sector expertise, but it is also closely aligned to our goal of driving sustainable value creation through infrastructure and connectivity," said Helios Towers CEO Tom Greenwood.

Helios suggests that the purchase will deliver revenues of almost $60 million per year.

Omantel had been seeking to sell off its tower assets since at least 2020, following in the footsteps of numerous operators in Europe and the Middle East that re seeking to rapidly monetise their passive assets. Three bidders were initially reported to have submitted bids for the towers, namely IHS Towers, Helios Towers, and domestic tower company Oman Towers, with bids expected to be worth around half a billion dollars. 

By May 2021, Omantel had announced that the winning bidder was Helios Towers, which had agreed to acquire the company for $575 million.

Helios currently has over 10,500 mobile tower assets in eight African countries, with this purchase being their first step in expanding their presence into the Middle East.  

The deal is expected to close in Q2 of this year, subject to all necessary approvals. 

As we enter the second half of 2022, investor interest in mobile towers continues to soar, with major deals continuing to take place around the world. Most recently, late last month, reports suggested that Spanish tower giant Cellnex is in discussions with Canada-based investment firm Brookfield Asset Management for a joint bid to take control of Deutsche Telekom’s tower unit, Deutsche Funkturm. 

If a deal were to be made, the purchase could be worth up to €20 billion. 

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