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Saudi talks to buy MTC stake postponed

Disagreement over pricing prompts postponement of deal by an unidentified Saudi investor.

Talks between a Saudi investor and Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co. over a stake in the company and its Celtel unit have been put off until November because of a disagreement over price, a newspaper said on Monday.

The unidentified Saudi investor and Kuwait's largest mobile operator were negotiating over the sale of a 10% stake in MTC and 25% stake in Celtel which runs the MTC's sub-Saharan operations, Kuwaiti daily al-Seyassah said.

It did not make clear how it got the information.

Seyassah said on May 26 that MTC was close to concluding a deal to sell its stake in Celtel, which operates in 14 sub-Saharan countries. The deal could be worth almost $2 billion, the paper said.

MTC then said denied it planned to sell a stake in Celtel, which it bought in 2005 as part of a major expansion.