Etisalat withholds payments related to PTCL acquisition

4 Jan 2010

UAE-based Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has revealed that it is withholding payments totalling USD799 million from the Pakistan government until the latter ensures that properties which the Middle East outfit claims were part of its acquisition of a 26% stake in Pakistan Telecommunications Company Ltd (PTCL) are registered in its name. Zawya reports that Pakistan’s Privatisation Commission (PPC) has confirmed the withholding of the payments, with the commission noting that the last transaction from Etisalat came in September 2007. ‘The Prime Minister has assured full cooperation and support to the management of PTCL in relation to all issues pertaining to PTCL, ‘the PPC said in its statement, adding ‘This includes registration of a few properties in the name of PTCL [which are already in possession of PTCL].’

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Etisalat bagged the 26% stake in PTCL on 18 June 2005, with a highest bid of PKR155.2 billion (USD2.6 billion), more than double the amount offered by its closest rivals, China Mobile and SingTel.