Zain wants to remain in Lebanon

29 Oct 2007

Kuwaiti communications group Zain (formerly MTC) is planning to bid in the upcoming auction for two state-owned Lebanese mobile phone networks, newspaper al-Rai reports, citing Zain’s CEO. Zain currently manages one of the two operators under the MTC Touch brand, whilst Germany’s DeTeCon manages its rival, Alfa. The company has expressed its intention to take a controlling stake in MTC Touch but considers the Lebanese government’s expected price of around USD6 billion to be ‘at least double’ the realistic valuation of the network operators. Participants in the auction are expected to place technical bids in January, with final bids due in February. Bidders will be allowed to buy two-thirds stakes in each of the cellular licensees, while the government will retain a third of the shares. The state will then launch an initial public offering (IPO) of a portion of its remaining shares in each company on the Beirut Stock Exchange.

Lebanon, Touch Lebanon (MIC 2), Zain Group