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Press Release -- February 27th, 2014
Source: Nokia Siemens Networks

Mobily KSA secures funds to accelerate network expansion investment with NSN, increases vendor financing to 605 mn USD

Barcelona, Spain – Feb 27, 2014

  • Additional 280 mn USD syndicated loan is backed by Finnvera and Finnish Export Credit
  • Second funding agreement with NSN within a year to finance investments

Mobily (Etihad Etisalat Company), a leading telecom operator in Saudi Arabia, has taken another major initiative* to accelerate the expansion and modernization of its 4G LTE, 3G and 2G networks between 2014 and 2016. To this effect, Khalid Al-Kaf, CEO of Mobily, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia Solutions and Networks at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. As per the MoU, NSN will facilitate an additional long term export credit of 280 mn USD with Finnvera, Finnish Export Credit (FEC), and lenders Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale. This credit will help Mobily purchase advanced solutions and services from the world’s specialist in mobile broadband, NSN.

Khalid AI-Kaf, CEO, Mobily, said:

“With the increased adoption of smart devices, the demand for superior quality, high speed data services is growing from our customers. To address this demand, we are accelerating expansion and upgrading of our 4G LTE, 3G and 2G networks with the latest technology available in the industry by investing additional 280 mn USD over the next 24 months. This accelerated network infrastructure expansion and upgrade using NSN’s advanced solutions and services will help us further improve voice and data service experience for our customers in the country.”

Igor Leprince, head of Middle East & Africa business region at NSN, said:

“The fact that we are able to arrange an export credit facility to Mobily for the second time within a year, reaching a total amount of 605 mn USD by 2014, is reflecting our commitment to help the operator to fully address the growing demand from its customers. The close relationship we have with Mobily enables us to understand its needs and provide the right support at all levels.”

Topi Vesteri, Executive Vice President of Finnvera, said:

“We look forward to contributing with our credit enhancement of highest credit quality to the success of Mobily and NSN in the growing Saudi Arabian telecom market. The current arrangement will increase the largest transaction Finnvera and FEC is supporting in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and in the Middle East. We highly appreciate the close cooperation with Mobily, NSN and the lenders throughout the process.”

The Finnish export credit agency Finnvera and its subsidiary Finnish Export Credit (FEC) have issued their guarantee and financing offers. Mobily has mandated Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale to structure and arrange for Shariah Compliant financing, for which the services of Latham & Watkins as legal counsel to Mobily, and Allen & Overy as legal counsel to lenders have been sought.

Pictures of MoU signing by NSN and Mobily are available:

Picture 1 – left to right – Mobily CEO Khalid Al-Kaf and NSN CEO Rajeev Suri.

Picture 2 – left to right – Mobily CFO Thamer Alhosani and NSN CFO Samih Elhage.

For more information on NSN’s mobile broadband capabilities, including a video overview, follow this link. To share your thoughts on the topic, join the discussion with @NSNtweets on Twitter using #mobilebroadband and #LTE. For expert insights, visit our blog.

About Mobily

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) was established in 2004 by a consortium led by Etisalat, the UAE based telecom conglomerate. Mobily is the official brand name of Etihad Etisalat, renowned as the second mobile service provider in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The awarded 25-Year telecommunication mobile license was complemented by a subsequent purchase of a 3G license. Mobily is the 1st Saudi communications company to get an operation license for 3rd generation services and beyond. In December 2004, Mobily was listed on Tadawul Stock Exchange. Today, Mobily equates to 40%+ market share of the mobile subscriptions in the Kingdom. In March 2008, Mobily was granted approval by CITC (Communication and Information Technology Commission) to acquire Bayanat al-Oula which was a licensed Data Service Provider for a price of SAR 1.5 Billion. And, in November 2008, Mobily acquired absolute majority stakes in Zajil, the leading Saudi ISP (Internet Service Provider).

Mobily owns vast majority shares in the Saudi National Fiber Network (SNFN) composed with 12,800 KM of structured fiber cable, panned into 7 fully protected rings covering 35 Saudi cities plus access to 60 major hub sites for telecommunications prime points of presence, and complimented with 20 inter-metropolis fiber loops in major Saudi cities. Furthermore, Mobily is a lead investor in prime global submarine cable projects that are expected to be operational in the near future.

About NSN

Nokia Solutions and Networks is the world’s specialist in mobile broadband. From the first ever call on GSM, to the first call on LTE, we operate at the forefront of each generation of mobile technology. Our global experts invent the new capabilities our customers need in their networks. We provide the world’s most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximize the value of those networks, and the services to make it all work seamlessly.

With headquarters in Espoo, Finland, we operate in over 120 countries and had net sales of approximately 11.3 billion euros in 2013. NSN is wholly owned by Nokia Corporation.

About Finnvera

Finnvera is the official Export Credit Agency of Finland providing export credit guarantees and financing solutions backed by the full faith and credit of the Republic of Finland.

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* On July 11, 2013, NSN enabled 325 mn USD of export credit financing to Mobily with Finnvera and Finnish Export Credit. Click here to read the press release.

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