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Etisalat due diligence on Zain assets almost done

UAE telcos to offer full number portability by end Q1; Move to raise competition between two state-linked telcos; No third licence expected in UAE


January 24, 2011 3:53 by

UAE telecom firm Etisalat has almost completed the due diligence process for its proposed 46 percent stake buy in Kuwait’s Zain  a Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Monday.

“The due diligence process is almost complete with positive results, and will be followed with final touches before announcing the complete details,” Kuwaiti daily newspaper al-Rai said, citing a source.

Etisalat missed a January 15 deadline to complete its due diligence on the almost $12 billion deal, and said it had not made sufficient progress toward finalising the deal by the deadline due to “unforeseen delays” in Zain providing access to relevant information.

Etisalat made an offer to buy a 46 percent stake of Zain for 1.7 dinars a share last September to Kuwaiti family conglomerate Kharafi Group. A unit of the conglomerate is working on behalf of its parent firm to gather Zain shares to tender to the offer.

The deadline to complete due diligence is set for the end of January, chairman of Zain shareholder Kharafi Group said in published remarks on Thursday.

The deal has been dogged by hurdles including a lawsuit attempting to block the stake sale as well as an unexpected bid by Turkey’s Cukurova Holding to buy 29.9 percent of Zain for $7.89 billion. (Writing by Eman Goma; Editing by Dinesh Nair)


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