VEON subsidiary, Banglalink, announced that it has completed the sale of a portion of its tower portfolio in Bangladesh to Summit Towers for BDT11 billion (USD100 million).
Summit Towers now owns 2,012 Banglalink towers as a result of the deal, which was announced in November. Bangalink will continue to use the towers for the next 12 years under a master tower agreement with Summit, with the option of extending the lease later.
Managing Infrastructure Resources More Efficiently
Banglalink CEO, Erik Aas, stated that the agreement will not only help the telco meet its financial obligations, but will also allow it to save on operational expenses and manage its infrastructure resources more efficiently. “This will enable us to focus more on our services and digital innovations such as Toffee and MyBL,” he said, referring to Bangalink’s digital entertainment service and customer service app.
The transaction also supports VEON's ‘asset light’ strategy, which encompasses shedding infrastructure across its telco subsidiaries— a strategic move where a company decides to divest or reduce its ownership or control over physical telecommunications infrastructure within its subsidiaries. By divesting these assets, the company can unlock capital and streamline its operations, focusing on core business activities such as service provision and innovation.
By partnering with infrastructure providers, the company can benefit from cost savings, access to advanced technologies, and greater flexibility in scaling network capacity to meet fluctuating demand. This approach allows the company to stay agile and responsive in a rapidly evolving telecommunications landscape without the burden of owning and maintaining extensive infrastructure assets.
Furthermore, VEON recently announced that it will “evaluate and pursue collaborative opportunities related to Banglalink’s remaining tower portfolio.”
Meanwhile, the transaction will help Summit Towers’ parent company, Bangladesh infrastructure service provider, Summit Communications Group, expand its portfolio of 4,500 towers in Bangladesh.
“This, coupled with a fiber optic network spanning over 55,000 km and the upcoming submarine cable, will position Summit Communications Group as the country's primary end-to-end digital infrastructure provider,” said Muhammad Farid Khan, chairman of Summit Communications and Summit Towers.
The submarine cable in question is a private international cable being built by a consortium that includes Summit Communications, CdNet Communications, and Metacore Subcom to connect Bangladesh and Singapore.