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Etisalat extends Zain talks

Etisalat remains intent on acquiring Zain stake after missing January 15 deadline

Etisalat is continuing with due diligence to acquire a 46% stake in Zain Group.
Etisalat is continuing with due diligence to acquire a 46% stake in Zain Group.

UAE telco Etisalat said that it is continuing to work towards acquiring a 46% stake in Zain Group, following the expiry of the original deadline to complete due diligence by January 15.

Etisalat said that both parties continued "to work toward the announcement of a definitive transaction" but failed to indicate a timeframe for completion for the due diligence.

"The parties have not made sufficient progress toward completion of the proposed transaction in order to meet that deadline due to unforeseeable delays in Zain providing access to all relevant information," Etisalat said in a statement.

Etisalat announced its bid to acquire a 46% stake in Zain for almost $12 billion in November 2010.

Last week, it emerged that Çukurova, a Turkish business conglomerate, was in discussions to buy a 29.9% stake in Zain Group for $7.89bn, in a move that analysts said had the potential to disrupt Etisalat's bid.