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UAE’s Etisalat will not re-bid for Zain – exec

Etisalat scrapped takeover of Zain in March; Cited Zain's divided board, due diligence, regional unrest

May 10, 2011 3:58 by

UAE’s Etisalat will not bid again for Zain after it scrapped a $12 billon takeover of the Kuwaiti firm in March, Etisalat’s chief international investments officer said on Tuesday.

“We have put Zain behind us. It’s over,” Jamal al Jarwan said at a telecoms conference.

Etisalat scrapped its offer to buy a controlling stake in Zain citing Zain’s divided board, extended due diligence and regional unrest.

The firm also cited new Kuwaiti capital markets laws related to takeovers which require anyone who buys more than 30 percent of a listed Kuwaiti firm to bid for the remaining outstanding shares within 30 days effective in March.

“The main reason was the mandatory tender offer … that would mean we would have to tender offer to all (Zain) shareholders, that would make it more than $12 billion,” he said, adding that opposition from some minority shareholders was another hurdle.

A Kuwaiti Capital Markets Authority official had said at the time that the bylaw would not apply to deals agreed before its March implementation.

Jarwan said Etisalat is eyeing foreign expansion but added opportunities were scarce.

“We are in acquisition mode, given that the opportunity is correct, adds value and creates synergies with other operations, but there’s nothing much left,” he said.

By Matt Smith

(Writing by Jason Benham; Editing by Amran Abocar)

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