Abu Dhabi Group buys AMES stake

Abu Dhabi Group announces it has taken a 50% stake in Bertelsmann Middle East mobile phone affiliate.

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By  Reuters Published  August 21, 2007

The Abu Dhabi Group said on Tuesday it had bought a 50% stake in Bertelsmann's Middle East mobile phone affiliate as part of its strategy of boosting its telecommunications operations.

A statement said the group bought half of Arvato Middle East Sales (AMES), regional affiliate of Germany's Bertelsmann Arvato Mobile Middle East Group. It did not give the price.

"AMES has positioned itself to bring to the regional market a full range of digital media services, designed to dominate the areas of mobile and PC entertainment in the Middle East, Africa, the subcontinent and selected Pacific rim countries," it said.

The Abu Dhabi Group's mobile phone businesses are grouped under its Warid Telecom unit. The group also has interests in banking, construction, real estate and manufacturing.

The group said AMES aimed to build a digital entertainment business capable of servicing more than 200 million customers across the region, providing content to mobile phones, computers and set-top television boxes.

"Content and digital entertainment services are what operators need to drive revenues," Abu Dhabi Group CEO Bashir Tahir said in the statement.

"Bertelsmann's AMES business provides us with a digital media distribution platform which will be an essential component of our strategy to offer converged services through our companies."

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