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MTC denies European takeover speculation

The Kuwaiti telecoms giant has denied rumours it is to be the subject of a large European takeover bid.

Kuwaiti telecommunications giant Mobile Telecommunications Co (MTC) has denied rumours it is to be the subject of a large European takeover bid.

Despite having a licence agreement with mobile network provider, Vodafone, and being known as MTC-Vodafone, the company refused to comment on the possibility of any shareholder transactions.

"Since our successful bid in Saudi Arabia and the very high turnover of shares traded we have been asked whether or not we are going to be taken over or not a lot, however our official response is that the MTC management does not comment on the transactions of its shareholders," said an MTC company spokesman.

The Kuwaiti company has been in the spotlight in recent weeks after having completed a successful US$6.1bn bid to lead the consortium for the third mobile operator in Saudi Arabia. MTC now holds a 25-year licence to deploy GSM, high-speed broadband 3G and 3.5G services.

Commercial operations will commence early next year with Dr Marwan Al Ahmadi to be appointed CEO of the business.

The company is also said to be shortlisted in the bid for Qatar's second mobile network operator licence as well as considering a bid for a stake in Algerian state-run firm Algerie Telecom, Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al-Jarida said last week.

Founded in 1983, MTC has grown into a telecommunications heavyweight, spanning 21 countries with in excess of 20 million subscribers.

As of August 1, 2005, MTC's market capitalisation exceeded US$30bn. The business is listed on the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange (KSE).

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