DUBAI: Batelco has scrapped plans to sell its transmitter towers in Bahrain and Jordan and will instead look to share infrastructure with rival operators, the company's chief executive said yesterday.
In December, a source had said that Batelco was considering a sale and lease-back deal for its towers in the two countries, with funds earmarked for future acquisitions.
"Batelco has decided not to proceed with any tower sale in Bahrain and Jordan as various sale and lease back proposals did not create sufficient, long-term economic value," Batelco group chief executive officer Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa said in a statement.
The firm owns Jordanian mobile operator Umniah, 27 per cent of Yemeni mobile operator Sabafon, minority stakes in Internet providers in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and is also active in Egypt.
Batelco, which secured investment-grade ratings in November, has cash and bank balances of BD61.8 million ($163.93m), according to its first-quarter results.
This means Batelco "has the ability to raise funds at much lower rates than tower companies and thus could not justify the lease-back arrangements", Shaikh Mohamed said.
Batelco will instead look to share towers and other infrastructure with rival operators.