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Worldcall gives nod to Omantel deal

Pakistani operator accepted offer of Omani telco to buy 60% of its shares in a deal worth $185.6mn.

Worldcall Telecom says it has accepted the offer of Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) to buy 60% of its shares, in a deal worth 11.3 billion Pakistani rupees ($185.6 million).

Omantel will acquire 60% of Worldcall at 25 rupees per share, the company said in a notice to the Karachi Stock Exchange seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The proposed sale of shares would be subject to legal and regulatory approvals, the notice said.

Omantel, Oman's second-largest company by market value, is trying to expand abroad to brace for the end of its fixed-line monopoly this year, two years after the government opened the mobile business to competition.

Other telecom operators in the world's biggest oil-exporting region have targetted Pakistan as part of their expansion plans.

Qatar Telecommunications (Qtel) which operates Oman's second mobile phone operator Nawras, took over Pakistan's Burraq Telecom this year with a Saudi partner.

Etisalat bought a 26% stake in Pakistan Telecommunications for $2.6 billion in 2005.

Shares of Worldcall, which also offers long distance telephone services, closed down 0.20 rupees at 18.05 on Wednesday.