The Saudi fixed line licensee Etihad Atheeb has launched an initial public offer (IPO) as it seeks to raise SAR300 million (USD80 million) by selling 30 million shares, equivalent to 30% of its capital. Etihad Atheeb’s share sale is Saudi Arabia’s first IPO since August last year, Reuters reports, with a number of sales postponed due to the global financial crisis. Following the IPO Atheeb will be 15% owned by Batelco of Bahrain, with Atheeb Group holding 25% and Nahla having 13.7%. The IPO is open until 2 February. Atheeb is one of three firms licensed to compete in the Saudi fixed line market alongside incumbent operator STC; the other licensees are Optical Communications, whose shareholders include Verizon Communications of the US and Luxembourg-based Millicom, and Al-Mutakamilah, a consortium led by Hong Kong’s PCCW.