Zain Group deal in Iraq wins TMT transaction of the year

20 February 2024 2 min. read

A deal closed in Iraq has been named the region’s top financial transaction in the TMT space, with the advisors to the deal – FTI Capital Advisors, Norton Rose Fulbright and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius – joining in on the celebration.

Early 2023, Zain Group announced it had agreed to sell and leaseback its 4,968 tower portfolio in Iraq to TASC Towers. Zain Group holds a 25% minority stake in TASC Towers.

The deal, worth $180 million, represented Zain Group’s fourth sale and leaseback transaction, following similar agreements in Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. TASC Towers also took over management of Zain Group’s supporting facilities, including power generators, fuel tanks, and shelters.

Zain Group deal in Iraq wins TMT transaction of the year

The transaction enabled Zain Group to optimize the co-location of its mobile network sites with other telco operators in Iraq, and made funding available for further investments in operations and customer experience.

Meanwhile, for TASC Towers, the agreement enabled the company to expand its network and build 198 new tower sites across Iraq to meet growing demand for connectivity services.

“The deal was a good example of a successful telecom operator carving out infrastructure assets to strengthen its position in the market,” said Fede Membrillera, Global Co-lead and TMT lead at FTI Capital Advisors.

FTI Capital Advisors, the investment banking subsidiary of FTI Consulting, provided M&A advisory services to the deal (sell side). Norton Rose Fulbright also advised Zain Group, while Morgan, Lewis & Bockius served as the legal advisor of buyer TASC Towers.

An award-winning performance

Fast forward to today, and the deal has been named the most notable transaction in the Middle East and Africa by TMT Finance, a publication for the telecom, media and technology sector. At the annual awards ceremony held in London earlier this month, Elisa Tusacciu (Vice President) received the award on behalf of FTI Capital Advisors.

Zain Group deal in Iraq wins TMT transaction of the year

Elisa Tusacciu (FTI Capital Advisors) and Hugh Dennis (UK celebrity)

In its jury report, the judges said that the deal was a long and complex process in a very tricky market, describing the successful closing as a big success for the entire team involved.

FTI Capital Advisors is headquartered in the United States. The Zain Group- TASC Towers deal was led by a team from its Dubai office, comprising Federico Membrillera Galiana, Yana Kamburova, Gleb Taraban and Elisa Tusacciu.

The TMT Finance Awards recognize the most successful investment banks, law firms, transaction advisers, infrastructure funds, and private equity investors in the TMT landscape.