Etisalat rules out move for Wataniya

UAE operator Etisalat has decided against making a bid for Kuwaiti telecom service provider Wataniya.

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By  Administrator Published  February 28, 2007

UAE operator Etisalat has decided against making a bid for Kuwaiti telecom service provider Wataniya.

“We will not bid, the decision has been made,” Jamal Al Jarwan, general manager of international business at Etisalat, told a local newspaper.

“At this time we need to focus on what we have and focus our resources on getting our subsidiaries up and running,” he added. Etisalat had earlier said it was studying the opportunity of investing in the operator.

A consortium of shareholders holding 51% of the Wataniya’s capital recently stated that it would consider a sale. Negotiations are to be led by the Kuwait Projects Company (Kipco), which owns a 24% stake in Wataniya.

Saudi Oger, which is controlled by Lebanon’s Al-Hariri family, is also rumoured to be interested in acquiring a stake in Wataniya. The Al-Hariri family also owns Dubai-based Oger Telecom.

Calls to Oger Telecom were not returned at the time of going to press.

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