USD4 billion burning a hole in Batelco’s pocket

22 May 2008

Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) is in negotiations to buy stakes in several pan-African and Indian mobile operators as part of a USD4 billion foreign acquisition drive. Ghassan Ali Murad, head of mergers at the incumbent telco, told Reuters yesterday: ‘We are in exploratory discussions with a number of companies that have pan-African platform operations,’ adding that Batelco is talking with three Indian firms – one existing mobile operator plus two start-up licensees – with a view to investing. It has been separately reported that Indian mobile licensee Videocon is in partnership talks with two other Middle East operators, Qatar Telecom and Etisalat of the UAE.