Qatar-based Ooredoo Group, Kuwait-based Zain Group, and UAE's TASC Towers Holding have signed an agreement to form the largest tower company in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, in a $2.2 billion cash and share deal.

Telecommunications, mobile towers, base stations
– Thinkstock / SasinParaksa

The announcement comes after the trio entered into exclusive talks earlier this year.

In total, the combined company will comprise approximately 30,000 towers across the Middle East and north Africa.

As part of the agreement, Ooredoo and Zain will equally retain a substantial stake of 49.3 percent each in the newly restructured entity, through an asset and cash equalization process.

The founders of TASC will retain the remaining shareholding, through Digital Infrastructure Assets LLP, and will continue to manage the operations of the business.

In the joint announcement, the companies confirmed that the tower entity "is expected to achieve run-rate revenues close to $500 million annually."

The towers will cover Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria, and Tunisia.

"This pioneering deal embarks us on an exciting journey together as it results in the establishment of the region’s largest independent Tower company, placing the MENA region on the world telecom tower map," said Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, MD and group CEO, Ooredoo; Bader Al-Kharafi, Zain vice-chairman & group CEO; and Iyad Mazhar, founder & CEO of TASC.

"It also positions the region as an advanced player in the global telecoms landscape, and we anticipate wide-ranging positive implications for the region – from economic growth and upgraded connectivity to technological improvements and increased global relevance.”

The transaction is expected to complete next year, subject to regulatory approval.