MTC to make government an offer for Lebanese cellco

15 Jun 2005

Kuwaiti group MTC has revealed it plans to acquire one of Lebanon’s two mobile networks if and when they become available. Both of the country’s cellcos are wholly state owned but managed by foreign companies. MTC currently has a four-year deal to manage MTC Touch Lebanon, whilst German firm DeTeCon oversees its rival Alfa. Speaking at a conference in Beirut, MTC general manager Mohammad Shabib said that the Kuwaiti group plans to make the Lebanese government an offer when its management contract expires in 2008. ‘In Lebanon we are working towards extending our management contract to acquiring the operation as this is part of our expansion plan,’ he told reporters. However, it remains to be seen whether the state will be so keen to give up what has become a significant cash cow. Under the terms of the contracts both management companies are paid USD4 million a month, whilst the government takes the operators’ gross revenues, currently worth around USD400 million annually.