Zain opening books to Batelco within days

5 Jul 2011

Zain Saudi Arabia’s chief executive Saad Al-Barak has confirmed that Zain will meet with Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) ‘within days’ to open the company’s books for examination. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, on 14 March Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain accepted a joint offer for its 25% stake in Zain Saudi Arabia from Batelco and Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s investment vehicle, Kingdom Holding Company (KHC). In May the USD950 million joint-bid was cast into doubt by Batelco’s pre-emptive demand for management rights of the cellco; according to Reuters, Zain Saudi Arabia currently pays about 4% of its annual revenue to the Zain group for the management of the unit. However, last month Ahmed Halawani, executive director for private equity at KHC, told Bloomberg: ‘Batelco will be running the show from a management perspective’. Halawani also took the opportunity to indicate that Kingdom and Batelco will jointly seek out additional telecoms opportunities in the region, commenting: ‘We are going to use this asset and our alliance with Batelco to expand in this industry on a regional basis. Most of our future investments in this industry will be alongside Batelco’. The deal for Zain Saudi Arabia is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco), Zain Saudi Arabia