Oman­tel com­pletes 12% stake buy in Zain

The Gulf Today - Business - - UAE & REGION -

MUSCUT: Oman Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions (Oman­tel) will pay $1.35 bil­lion to buy a fur­ther 12.1 per cent stake in Kuwaiti tele­coms com­pany Zain in a deal that will ex­pand its reach to nine Mid­dle East­ern and North African coun­tries.

It paid 0.781 Kuwaiti di­nars ($2.58) per share, around 74 per cent above the cur­rent listed price, for the stake, which will take its to­tal share­hold­ing in Zain to 21.9 per cent. That will make it the sec­ond largest share­holder af­ter Kuwait’s sov­er­eign wealth fund, the Kuwait In­vest­ment Au­thor­ity.

In an in­ter­view with Reuters, Oman­tel’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Marhoon al-ma­mari said com­bined sav­ings of about $400 mil­lion over the next five years and syn­er­gies would bring the trans­ac­tion price down.

“The mul­ti­ples paid by Oman­tel are equiv­a­lent or less than those paid for a sim­i­lar trans­ac­tion in the re­gion,” he said.

“This trans­ac­tion will bring in scale. Prior to this trans­ac­tion, Oman­tel was op­er­at­ing in a sin­gle mar­ket, namely Oman, and Zain Group op­er­ates in nine mar­kets.”

Oman­tel pur­chased the stake from in­vest­ment ve­hi­cles linked to Kuwait’s Al Kharafi mer­chant fam­ily, fol­low­ing its ac­qui­si­tion of a 9.8 per cent stake in Zain in Au­gust.

The pur­chase is aimed creat­ing value for Oman­tel’s share­hold­ers, di­ver­si­fy­ing its rev­enue sources and rais­ing its re­gional scale, Oman­tel said in the bourse state­ment.

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