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Atheeb-Batelco to fund Saudi operations through IPO

Consortium will sell 25% share to finance set up of new voice and data services for all thirteen regions

Atheeb-Batelco, one of the newly appointed landline operators for Saudi will raise financing for its expansion by selling 25% of its stock through an IPO. The sale aims to raise SR 500 million ($133.5m).

The state-owned Pension Fund will be offered 10% of the shares and the General Organization for Social Insurance will be offered 5% of the shares.

The consortium is one of three joint-stock corporations to have won full licenses to operate the new landline networks in Saudi Arabia, following a provisional granting of a license back in September 2007.

Atheeb-Batelco says that it will deliver wireless broadband, voice and data services to all thirteen regions of the kingdom, with a total investment of $1 billion in the first five years of business.

Licenses were also issued to Verizon and Al-Mutakamilah.

Peter Kaliaropoulos, CEO of Batelco said this: “We have a strong team in place and we are in the final stages of preparation to roll out services to the Saudi market. Our partners, Atheeb and Nahla have very strong knowledge of the market place and we are delighted with the strong relationship we have developed.”

Batelco intend to have this new telecoms network operational by the third quarter of 2008.