The main shareholders of Etihad Atheeb Telecom (GO Telecom) have announced that Bayanat Al-Oula, a subsidiary of Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Arabia’s second largest cellco in terms of subscribers, has successfully completed its ‘commercial, financial, technical and legal due diligence’ in order to secure the controlling stake in the Saudi fixed line and broadband operator, after extending the 30 November 2013 deadline twice, to allow it to complete the aforementioned conditions. According to a press release published on the Saudi Stock Exchange’s (Tadawul’s) website, the two sides are currently in the process of structuring the proposed acquisition; GO Telecom is seeking shareholder approval to write-off up to 100% of its accumulated losses by way of cancelling shares in order to decrease its capital, while Bayanat would thereafter accumulate shares representing 20% of GO Telecom’s total share capital by acquiring the founding shareholders subscription rights. The proposed transaction is subject to regulatory approval by the Kingdom’s telecoms watchdog the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) and Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority (CMA).
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Bayanat Al-Oula inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to acquire GO Telecom from its main shareholders — Atheeb Trading Company, Batelco of Bahrain and Al-Nahla Trading Company on 20 August 2013. Atheeb Trading Company holds a 25% stake in the telco, while Batelco of Bahrain and Al-Nahla Trading Company own 15% and 13.7%, respectively; the rest of the share capital is publicly owned.