Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) announced on 12 November 2017 that it has won its bid to acquire 12.1% of the issued share capital in Zain Group, making Omantel the second largest shareholder in the Kuwaiti telecoms group with a 21.9% stake. Zain Group’s largest stakeholder remains Kuwait Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, with a 24.6% interest.
On 26 October 2017 Omantel entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire 12.1% of Zain Group (registered as Mobile Telecommunications Company KSCP) from three associated companies of Al-Khair National Company (Al Khair National for Stocks & Real Estate Company, Kuwaiti British Readymix Company and Gulf National Holding Company) for a total cash consideration of USD1.35 billion. This announcement triggered a formal public auction process under Boursa Kuwait rules, completed on 12 November, following which Zain’s board of directors is expected to be reconstituted. The total equity value of Omantel’s 21.9% Zain shareholding is USD2.19 billion, including the previous acquisition in August 2017 of 425.7 million treasury shares representing 9.84% of Zain’s fully paid and issued share capital.
CEO of Omantel, Talal Said Marhoon Al Mamari, said yesterday: ‘This is an historical moment for Omantel and Zain. Together, we have created a new regional telecoms group that will drive the digitisation of Oman and the wider region. Our new scale and diversification will allow us to focus on digital transformation, to generate further revenue growth and accelerate the introduction of innovative products and services that will enable our region to digitise.’