Etisalat may only buy 40% of Zain
Etisalat reportedly reduces bid to acquire Zain, would no longer gain controlling interest
Etisalat has lowered its targeted share of Zain to 40% after shareholder opposition threatened to delay the sale, according to Reuters.
The UAE operator was in talks to buy a 46% stake in Zain, from a consortium including the Kharafi Group conglomerate, but Reuters said that two unamed sources close to the deal said that stake had now been cut to 40%.
Objections from shareholders outside the consortium had threatened to block the transaction from going through.
Al Fawares Holding, which owns a 4.5% stake in Zain, took legal action to halt the due diligence in the planned sale, although a ruling was not due until 22nd December.
The revised bid will now mean that instead of gaining a controlling interest in Zain, which the 46% of shares together with treasury shares owned by Zain, Etisalat now stands to become a major shareholder instead.
Etisalat is looking to access lucrative Middle East and African markets through Zain’s extensive operations in the region.