Etisalat could be Millicom International Cellular suitor

It has been reported that up to 10 companies could be interested in buying MIC. The operator has mobile licences in 16 countries and cellular operations in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  January 22, 2006

UAE incumbent operator Etisalat may be one of the operators interested in acquiring Luxembourg-based mobile telecoms provider Millicom International Cellular. Etisalat chairman and CEO Mohammad Omran told CommsMEA that his company was currently assessing an investment opportunity, aside from preparing for bids in Tunisie Telecom and the third GSM licence in Egypt. “In the meantime we are also looking for other operators in the region, and are looking at one at the moment,” Omran said. MIC said recently that it is undertaking a review of strategic options for the company and has appointed Morgan Stanley as financial advisor, following the receipt of "a high number" of unsolicited approaches. It has been reported that up to 10 companies could be interested in buying the operator. MIC, which has mobile licences in 16 countries and cellular operations in Asia, Latin America and Africa, says it remains confident in its current strategy and growth prospects, adding that the outcome of the review may not lead to any transaction. It is understood the company has a current market value of around US$2.8 billion, reporting revenues of US$261 million for the three months to end-September 2005 - up 11% year on year - and EBITDA of US$110.8 million for the same period - down 6% year on year. As of end-September 2005, MIC reported a proportionate worldwide subscriber base of 6.4 million.

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