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Going Shopping for Etisalat

Going Shopping for Etisalat

As Etisalat drops its $100 million bid for Syrian licence, Kipp speculates which market may be next for the UAE teleco?


March 31, 2011 4:21 by

We thought it certainly would be a while before we started writing about Etisalat again but recent developments, or lack thereof, has caused us to reconsider.

Kipp’s talking of the $122 million (or more) bid for a Syria’s third mobile licence that Etisalat has just dropped. Though Etisalat did not expand on its decision, MEED (Middle East Economic Digest) speculates that the company wasn’t pleased with the 25 percent revenue share demanded by Syria.
Of course, Kipp didn’t have to think too hard to see a link between the increasing tensions in the region and Etisalat’s decision, but given the recent pull out of the Zain deal, the news about the Syria bid does beg the question, where else in the region can Etisalat pursue its aggressive expansion drive?

If Kipp has anything to say about the matter, our money is on Iraq.

Of course, Etisalat was involved with talks for a good part of the last three years with Iraq-based mobile operator Korek, before it announced its plans to buy a bid in Kuwait’s Zain. The deal would have seen Etisalat be able to expand Korek’s network throughout Iraq, but after the Zain deal fell through, analysts and Kipp speculate whether Etisalat will revert back to talks with Korek.

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