Çukurova stages bid for Zain
Audacious bid by Turkish firm could derail Etisalat's plan to acquire Zain
Çukurova, a Turkish business conglomerate, is in discussions to buy a 29.9% stake in Kuwait's Zain Group for $7.89bn, according to a report from CNBC Arabiya.
The bid by Çukurova, which owns a controlling stake in Turkey's leading mobile operator Turkcell, could thwart UAE telco Etisalat's bid to acquire a 46% stake in Zain, which faces a January 15 deadline.
A report from the Financial Times added that Çukurova was in talks with with Kuwait's Al-Fawares Holding, which owns a 4.5% stake in Zain and opposes the deal with Etisalat.
Sheikh Khalifa Ali Al-Sabah, a member of the Kuwaiti royal family who represents Al-Fawares on Zain's board, told the Financial Times that the proposed price and the stake size had changed from the previously quoted figure of KD1.72 per share.
"There is progress, but there is no binding agreement of any sort, and we are also talking to other interested parties," he told the paper.
Etisalat announced its bid to acquire a 46% stake in Zain for almost $12 billion in November 2010. Etisalat said that its proposal would terminate unless the parties entered into "definitive transaction documents" by January 15, 2011.