Qtel eyes buyout of PE partner in Asiacell
Dubai, January 19, 2012
Qatar Telecom (Qtel), the Gulf state's former monopoly, plans to buy out a private equity partner's 19-per cent stake in Iraqi telecoms operator Asiacell, two banking sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Qtel has a 30-per cent stake in Asiacell, Iraq's number two operator, while its partner MerchantBridge has 19 per cent ownership of the Iraqi telco.
Morgan Stanley is assisting Qtel in the process, while London-based MerchantBridge is being advised by Credit Suisse on the sale, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
In October, Asiacell appointed HSBC and Morgan Stanley to manage an initial public offering in Iraq.
A potential sale of MerchantBridge's stake was likely to happen before the IPO, the sources said. MerchantBridge was not immediately available for comment. A Qtel spokesman in Doha declined to comment. – Reuters