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GTL Infra, Quippo eye Saudi Tele’s tower biz-sources

Saudi Telecom's tower business is said to be valued at between $1 billion and $1.5 billion.

October 22, 2010 9:05 by

India’s GTL Infrastructure and Quippo are among those shortlisted to buy a stake in Saudi Telecom’s tower business and final offers are likely to be made within the next few weeks, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Saudi Telecom’s tower business is said to be valued at between $1 billion and $1.5 billion, and sources said it was not yet decided whether the carrier was selling a 49 percent or larger stake.

State-controlled Saudi Telecom has about 10,000 telecom towers, said the sources, who declined to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media.

“We are working on it,” Sunil Kanoria, director of Quippo, a telecom infrastructure company, said when asked whether Quippo is bidding for Saudi Telecom’s tower arm.

Asked if Quippo had been shortlisted, he declined to comment. A Saudi Telecom spokesman also declined to comment when reached by Reuters.

“While we continue to pursue several opportunities for mergers and acquisitions, it would be premature at this stage to comment on any specific target,” said a GTL Infra spokesman in Mumbai. Several sources said Morgan Stanley is managing the sale process for Saudi Telecom’s tower business. Towers are masts that mobile operators use in transmitting wireless signals.

(Reporting by Rajesh Kurup and Sumeet Chatterjee in Mumbai and Victoria Howley in London; additional reporting by Denny Thomas in Hong Kong and Nicolas Parasie in Abu Dhabi; Editing by Tony Munroe and Surojit Gupta)

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