Abu Dhabi Group eyes sale of Warid Telecom

Etisalat and China Mobile weigh bids for Pakistani operator: Reuters

Tags: Abu Dhabi GroupChina MobileEmirates Telecommunications Corporation InternationalPakistanUnited Arab EmiratesWarid Telecom
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Abu Dhabi Group eyes sale of Warid Telecom The UAE's Abu Dhabi Group is planning to sell Warid Telecom, reports indicate.
By  Roger Field Published  June 26, 2013

The UAE's Abu Dhabi Group, a business conglomerate led by a ruling family member, is planning to sell Warid Telecom, an operator in Pakistan, Reuters reported.

The proposed sale, which is reported to be for all 100% shares of Warid Telecom, is likely to draw interest from UAE incumbent Etisalat and from China Mobile, the report added, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Pakistan mobile operator Warid Telecom has been put up for sale by its Abu Dhabi owners and is likely to draw interest from China Mobile and Etisalat, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

However, a third source indicated that Abu Dhabi Group would be prepared to sell a smaller controlling stake in Warid Telecom.

The sellers have mandated US investment bank Lazard and British lender Standard Chartered as advisers for the process, the sources said. The sale could fetch about $bn, according to one of the sources.

Walid Irshaid, CEO of Pakistan Telecommunications (PTCL), a unit of Etisalat, said the company would was "interested to see if it makes sense for us".

"Warid is an existing operator that has been here for many years and so we're saying ‘let's look at the prospects'," Reuters quoted him as saying.

2159 days ago

It's a good time to buy into Pakistan. The economy is returning to health, even if it will be slow growth for some time. China Mobile is best placed of the incumbent operators to add Warid to its Zong services. Entering Pakistan is probably going to be easier than many other Asian territories at the moment, so other large footprint operators, not just Etislat, will also be looking on with interest.
However, as Etisalat seems likely to win in Morocco, another big acquisition maybe a stretch for resources.

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