Etisalat keen to acquire Nayatel - report

UAE telco wants to buy Pakistani ISP, according to Reuters report.

Tags: Etisalat International - UAEMergers and acquisitionsPakistanUnited Arab Emirates
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Etisalat keen to acquire Nayatel - report Etisalat has been keen to gain a presence in Pakistan for a number of years. (ITP Images)
By Staff Writer Published  January 26, 2011

UAE telco Etisalat is considering a plan to acquire Nayatel, an ISP in Pakistan. Nayatel's chairman, Rashid Khan, said that Etisalat wanted to "totally buy" out the ISP, according to a report from Reuters.

However, Khan said that talks had slowed owing to the potential costs of the deal, and added that he expected interest from Chinese and Norwegian firms, the report added.

"I am talking to someone who wants us to invest in Afghanistan, someone who wants us to work in Saudi Arabia and someone who wants us to work in Turkey," Reuters quoted Khan as saying.

Nayatel, which offers cable TV, fixed-line telephone and data services, is a sister company of Micronet Broadband Ltd (MBL), one of Pakistan's leading DSL broadband providers.

Nayatel launched one of South Asia's first fibre to the home (FTTH) networks in Islamabad in September 2006, and the network now covers more than 90% Islamabad and business districts of Rawalpindi Cantonment.

Etisalat has been keen to gain access to Pakistan for a number of years, and has been locked in a dispute with PTCL, Pakistan's incumbent operator, since 2006, when it agreed to buy a 26% stake in the firm. The deal apparently remains incomplete, owing to land sales linked to the deal.

A deal with Nayatel could offer Etisalat quick route in to Pakistan.

A number of Middle East operators already have a presence in Pakistan, including Qtel, which owns broadband player Wi-Tribe, and Abu Dhabi Group-backed mobile player Warid Telecom.

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