Saudi Telecom falls short to get 100pc ownership of Viva
RIYADH: Saudi Telecom Co., the biggest phone operator in the oilrich kingdom, said it will boost its stake in Viva Kuwait Telecom Co. to 51.8 percent, falling short of its earlier plan to get full ownership of the company. Viva shares dropped to the lowest since Nov. 15. The operator known as STC will buy 25.8 percent of Viva at one Kuwaiti dinar a share, valuing the deal at 1.59 billion riyals ($424 million), according to a statement posted on the Saudi stock exchange. Saudi Telecom Chief Executive Officer Khalid Biyari said last week the offer "is quite reasonable and actually does have a premium compared to what a fair price for the share was declared by the independent consultant." On Dec. 14, the Saudi company offered to buy 74 percent of Viva's total outstanding shares.