STC unveils inorganic growth strategy

Operator eyes 10% revenue growth through foreign investment by 2010.

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By  Administrator Published  June 3, 2007

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is in the final stages of selecting a bank or banking consortium to advise it on future international investment opportunity, company president and CEO Saud Al Dowaish has confirmed.

Speaking in Dubai last month, Al Dowaish said the telco is entering a new phase in its development where it is actively seeking investment opportunities outside of Saudi Arabia, and he believes the company's size, scale and potential to generate synergies would allow it to acquire investments without over-extending itself.

"We have embarked on an investment strategy we call 10x10," Al Dowaish stated. "We are seeking to generate 10% of our total service revenues from inorganic growth by 2010."

STC generated approximately US$9 billion in revenues last year, and counts 14.5 million mobile subscribers and 4 million fixed line subscribers in its domestic market.

STC's 10x10 expansion strategy is reminiscent of MTC Group's original 3x3x3 strategy, which was geared at the company ramping up its regional and international expansion plans in a bid to execute 27 years worth of development in a nine-year period.

Al Dowaish also confirmed that STC is seeking investment opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa region, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Given the telco's position as the largest telecoms operator in the Gulf, accounting for 63% of all telecoms revenues generated in the region, Al Dowaish suggests STC would pursue proportionally large investment opportunities.

However, Al Dowaish also added that the company would not be forced into paying over the odds for deals as a result of its relatively late arrival into the regional consolidation trend.

STC is concurrently developing an internal strategy it refers to as FORWARD, an acronym for a series of developments the company is looking to institute such as fulfilling the operator's mobile potential, offering wholesale services, re-inventing home communications as well as expanding its presence in the enterprise segment.

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