March 16, 2017 / 12:41 PM / in 4 months

Saudi Arabia's STC, Mobily seek adviser for tower merger plan

DUBAI, March 16 (Reuters) - Saudi Telecom Co (STC) and Mobily are seeking a joint adviser as they aim to push ahead with a plan to merge their mobile mast operations, industry sources told Reuters on Thursday.

The kingdom's two largest operators have been considering whether to offload towers in recent months to cut costs, either via a sale to a private investor or through a merger of their networks.

A request for proposal has been sent to investment banks and others asking them to pitch for a role as a joint adviser on the process, sources told Reuters.

The sources did not say specify the timeframe for the process.

STC declined to comment while Mobily was not available for immediate comment.

Telecoms operators are increasingly keen to dispose of towers which now provide little competitive edge due to broadly similar network quality and coverage.

Kuwaiti telecoms group Zain aims to sell its mobile towers in Saudi Arabia for more than $500 million in the first half of 2017. (Editing by Jason Neely)

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