UAE fixed line incumbent Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has agreed to purchase a further 5.27% stake in Indian yet-to-launch mobile operator Etisalat DB, formerly known as Swan Telecom. The agreement will see Etisalat acquire the 5.27% stake from Chennai-based Genex Exim Ventures, according to the Economic Times, in a deal worth around INR3.8 billion (USD81.3 million). Etisalat will now seek approval for the deal from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), and if given the go-ahead the sale will mean that Etisalat will hold a majority stake in Etisalat DB; the Gulf telco currently holds an approximate 45% stake in the mobile operator, having paid USD900 million for the holding in September 2008. The other major shareholders in Etisalat DB are real estate firm DBG Group, which has a 45.73% stake in the company, held through Tiger Trustees, and Delphi Investments, which holds a 4.27% stake.
As reported by CommsUpdate earlier this month, Etisalat DB and fellow would-be mobile player Allianz Infratech announced earlier this month that they would merge, with it understood the tie-up between the two could be completed by the end of 1Q 2010.