Kuwait's third mobile firm to sell 76% stake

Government plans to offer 50% through an IPO and to sell a 26% stake direct to investors.

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By  Reuters Published  June 21, 2007

Kuwait's government plans to sell a 76% stake in the country's third mobile phone operator in a public offering (IPO) and a tender open to foreign firms and local non-telecom firms, a company official said on Thursday.

The firm will start operations in the first quarter of 2008, while the IPO to sell a 50% stake will open in January, said Adel al-Roumi, chairman of the founding committee set up by the state investment arm, Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA).

Roumi said the company would invite bids from foreign or local "strategic" investors for a 26% stake so long as they are not rivals. The winner of the tender process would be identified in October, he said.

Kuwait's government agreed in December to set up the third mobile company with a capital of 50 million dinars ($173.5 million).

Kuwait has two mobile companies; Mobile Telecommuncations Co. (MTC) and National Mobile Telecommunications Co. (Wataniya).

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