Home / / Qtel seeks buyouts despite debts - report

Qtel seeks buyouts despite debts - report

Marafih says company is still on the lookout for good deals

“We’re still on the lookout for good acquisition opportunities..." - Nasser Marafih, CEO of Qtel.
“We’re still on the lookout for good acquisition opportunities..." - Nasser Marafih, CEO of Qtel.

Qtel is looking at acquisitions in the Middle East and Asia despite being in debt, the company's CEO told the Financial Times.

Chief executive Nasser Marafih said the company benefits from its lucrative business in Qatar and the backing of its government, allowing it to continue to expand.

“We’re still on the lookout for good acquisition opportunities ...Our view is that our vision is still very viable, and there are a lot of opportunities that will come up,” Marafih told the the paper. “Scale is important, and we think we will see more consolidation in the Middle East.”

Marafih added that its debt to earnings ratio has declined since 2007, making its debt load "reasonable now." Moody's estimates that its net debt is $9.9bn and put the company on review for a downgrade in March.

Qatar Telecom has expanded into seventeen countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, and now has more than 67 million subscribers.