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Etisalat offer good says major Zain shareholder

Kuwait, September 30, 2010

Emirates Telecommunications Corp's (Etisalat) offer to buy the Kharafi Group's stake in Zain is 'suitable and good for both parties,' the head of the Kharafi Group was quoted as saying in a Kuwaiti newspaper on Thursday.

The UAE telco said a day earlier that it had made a conditional offer for a 46-percent stake in Zain. The offer of 1.7 dinars ($5.97) a share -- which values the stake at nearly $12 billion -- was made to the Kharafi Group, a major Zain shareholder keen to offload its position for more than a year.

Nasser Al Kharafi, in an interview with Arabic language daily Al-Qabas, welcomed the offer and said minority shareholders would be protected.   

On Wednesday, an analyst said a potential deal could be bad news for Zain's minority shareholders if they lose influence to a controlling shareholder.   

He added that the closing date of the deal would be determined when the contract is officially signed.

Another Kuwaiti newspaper, Al Jarida, citing informed sources that Etisalat intended to sell Zain Saudi after the deal closed.

Shares in Zain were halted on the Kuwait bourse, pending clarification of the details of the offer. -Reuters




Tags: Etisalat | Telecom | Zain | Kharafi Group | Stake sale |

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