Atheeb 'interested in Saudi Zain'
Dubai, October 24, 2010
Saudi Arabia's Etihad Atheeb Telecom (Go) is interested in the Saudi assets of Kuwait's Zain, Al-Arabiya television quoted Atheeb's chairman as saying on Sunday.
'If Zain Saudi is put up for sale there will be an opportunity, and both companies will complement each other,' Abdul-Aziz bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud told the Dubai-based station according to its website.
Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat, the Arab world's second-largest telecom operator by market value, has bid 1.7 dinars a share for a 46 percent stake in Zain, in a deal worth around $12 billion.
A major Zain shareholder has said it will accept the offer.
Zain holds a 25 percent stake in Zain Saudi, the latest mobile phone operator in the top oil exporter.
Atheeb has won a licence to provide fixed-line services in the kingdom under the Go brand. Atheeb has been struggling to compete with the likes of Saudi Telecom, Mobily and more recently Zain Saudi.
Earlier this month, Bahrain's Batelco said it was interested in Zain's Saudi assets. - Reuters