Kuwait's MTC eyes $4bn London listing

A unit of the telcoms company hopes to sell shares in the UK capital next year.

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By  Reuters Published  February 28, 2007

Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co., the fourth largest Arab telecom firm by market value, hopes to raise as much as $4 billion by selling shares of its international unit in London next year, a spokesman said.

MTC's initial discussions with advisers on the IPO put the value of the MTC International unit at between $10 billion and $15 billion dollars, Adel Ibrahim, MTC's director of corporate communications, said on Tuesday.

MTC International is a private company holding the foreign assets of the Kuwaiti firm which has operations across the Africa and the Middle East, he said.

"We are looking at a London listing in the first quarter of 2008," Ibrahim said.

The company was considering floating a 25% stake in MTC International to raise between $2.5 billion and $4 billion dollars, he said, adding the figures were only preliminary estimates.

MTC has a market value of $18.1 billion.

Arab telecom companies, buoyed by record earnings and oil revenue generated by their government shareholders, have been on a spending spree in the last two years, buying companies from Pakistan and Italy to Africa.

MTC, like its Gulf Arab rival Emirates Telecommunications Corp., is expanding rapidly out of its domestic market, which has a mobile penetration rate of more than 90%.

MTC now operates in 14 African countries through Netherlands-based Celtel International, which it acquired for $3.36 billion in 2005. It also runs networks in Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Bahrain and is bidding for a licence in Saudi Arabia.

MTC had 27 million subscribers at the end of 2006.

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