Qtel to pay US$3.7 billion for controlling Wataniya stake

Last month Wataniya chairman Faisal Al-Ayyar said that Wataniya’s shareholders and management took the speculation that the operator was a takeover target as a compliment.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  March 4, 2007

Qtel is set top acquire a 51% stake in Kuwait’s Wataniya Telecom from Kuwait Projects Company Holding (KIPCO) and other related parties, with the deal including two additional stakes of 9% in each of Wataniya Telecom's operations in Algeria and Iraq. Total consideration for the transaction is of approximately KD 1.1 billion (US$3.7 billion). Qtel intends to fund the acquisition from a combination of existing cash and debt facilities. "This deal is undoubtedly the most significant in the region and totally changes the face of mobile telecommunications,” commented Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, chairman of Qtel. “This is yet another critically important move in our aim to be among the top 20 telecommunications companies in the world by 2020.” Morgan Stanley acted as sole external financial advisor to KIPCO in the transaction. Last month Wataniya chairman Faisal Al-Ayyar said that Wataniya’s shareholders and management took the speculation that the operator was a takeover target as a compliment. “The speculation shows that we are a successful venture, an important venture, and there are parties interested in sharing in the success,” he commented.

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