Vodafone Qatar plans to replicate business model worldwide

Vodafone-Qatar venture worth 45%; gov't holds 15% & 40% will float mid-April.     

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By  Alex Delmar-Morgan Published  April 5, 2009

The boss of Vodafone Qatar has said he hopes to take the company's business model to other countries around the world looking to attract foreign operators.

Vodafone Qatar, which has teamed up with local partner the Qatar Foundation, is offering 40 percent of its share capital in an initial public offering (IPO) to investors between April 12 and April 26.

Only Qatari nationals can buy shares in the company.

"The importance of this is that Vodafone has a shareholding but not a majority control, but we have a management agreement including control of the board," Grahame Maher, Vodafone Qatar CEO, told Arabian Business.

 "This is the new model that we would want to see possibly rolled out in other sovereign controlled countries around the world," he added without stating which countries he had in mind.

The carrier is 45 percent owned by the Vodafone and Qatar Foundation, while the government has a 15 percent stake, with the public holding the remaining 40 percent.

The Vodafone Qatar Foundation is a 50/50 joint venture between the Vodafone Group and the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community, a type of sovereign wealth fund.

UK telecoms giant Vodafone’s Qatar division hopes to raise around $929m in the IPO, with shares publicly trading around the middle of June.

Its mobile network was switched on at the start of March after winning the second licence in Qatar at the end of 2007, beating off rivals AT&T and Verizon.

It intends to sell mobile, fixed line, internet and entertainment services.

“This whole model we are operating here where we are in partnership with the Qatar Foundation is managed by Vodafone. We have a local partner and we have local shareholders,” Maher added.

Qtel currently controls 100 percent of the mobile telecoms market in Qatar.

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