Saudi Telecom gobbles Awalnet ISP
Kingdom's state-owned telephone company snaps up ISP and targets 1 million subscribers.
Saudi Telecommunications Co. (STC), the largest Arab telecoms company by market value, said on Monday it paid SR98.9 million (US $26.37 million) to take a 97% stake in local internet provider AwalNet.
AwalNet's founders will retain a 3% stake in the firm, STC said in a statement on the bourse website. STC said last month it signed a deal to take a majority stake in the internet provider that would raise its market share to 35% from 15%.
STC has said it targets to have 1 million internet subscribers by end-2007, up from 300,000 at the end of the first quarter.
Internet penetration in Saudi Arabia is 10-15% of the 24 million population, against 80% for mobile phones and around 17% for fixed-line phones.