Agility agrees $250mn stake in Iraq operator

Kuwaiti logistics firm has option to buy Korek Telecom stake in 'strategic partnership'.

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By  Reuters Published  September 25, 2007

Kuwaiti logistics provider Agility said on Tuesday it had agreed a $250 million option to buy a stake in Iraq's Korek Telecom.

Agility said in a statement on the Kuwait bourse website that one of its units had agreed a "strategic partnership" with Irbil-based Korek. The agreement still needs final approval by both sides, Agility said.

"So far, no final deal has been reached regarding the stake," Agility said.

The statement said the proposed deal would provide Korek Telecom with "financial, administrative and operational flexibility that would enable it to focus on fulfilling the terms of Iraq's mobile licence contract".

Korek paid $1.25 billion for one of the three Iraqi mobile licences sold last month at an auction in Jordan and has 1.2 million customers based mainly in the Kurdish region.

With a population of 26 million, Iraq had around eight million mobile phone users at the end of 2006, according to its telecom regulator, and most people rely on cellphones because much of the country's fixed-line infrastructure has been destroyed during decades of war.

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