Etisalat’s Bayanat Al-Oula to acquire GO Telecom; waiting for CITC approval

1 Jul 2013

Saudi Arabia’s second largest cellco in terms of subscribers Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) has announced that its subsidiary Bayanat Al-Oula submitted a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement for the acquisition of the controlling stake in Saudi fixed line and broadband operator Etihad Atheeb Telecom (GO Telecom) to the Kingdom’s watchdog the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) and Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority, Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) reported. According to the press release, the proposed transaction is subject to regulatory approval and the satisfactory completion of specific commercial, financial, legal and technical conditions.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Mobily has been in negotiations to obtain a stake in GO Telecom since June 2013, when the two companies entered into preliminary non-binding talks for the acquisition of a share of the loss-making GO by one of Mobily’s subsidiaries, now identified as Saudi broadband provider Bayanat Al-Oula. However, at that time none of the companies published information on the size of the stake, or the potential sellers, as GO is currently owned by Atheeb Trading Company (which holds a 25% stake), Batelco of Bahrain (15%) and Al-Nahla Trading Company (13.7%), with the rest of the shares publicly owned.