International legal firm Clifford Chance has provided legal counsel to TAWAL, a subsidiary of Saudi Telecommunication Company (stc), in securing Shari‘a-compliant term loan and bridge finance facilities. These funds will facilitate the acquisition of three telecommunications tower asset companies located in Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Croatia from the United Group.
The financing, totalling USD1.42 billion, was sourced through a consortium of Islamic financial institutions, both UAE and Non-UAE based. These facilities will enable TAWAL to support its expansion into strategic jurisdictions in Southeast Europe.
With this move, TAWAL gains ownership of and operational control over more than 4,800 sites across Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia. These acquired assets will serve as a foundation for the provision of operational services to new clients in these regions. Notably, this acquisition marks TAWAL’s second expansion step, building on the launch of TAWAL Pakistan in 2022. The collective towers portfolio now exceeds 21,000 towers, spanning five different countries.
TAWAL’s vision encompasses significant investments, the implementation of best practices, and the introduction of innovative products to its expanded portfolio. Drawing on its expertise in managing robust infrastructure within Saudi Arabia, the company is poised to enhance the European markets by fast-tracking the deployment of advanced ICT infrastructure.
The Clifford Chance team was led by partner and global head of Islamic finance Qudeer Latif (pictured) with support from senior associate Greg Jehle, as well as senior associate Suzanne Dand and trainee solicitor Meave Chapman.