Govt and Etisalat close to ending decade-long dispute

3 Jan 2020

UAE-based group Etisalat has offered the Pakistani government USD267 million to settle a decade-long dispute relating to its acquisition of a 26% stake in Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), the Express Tribune writes, citing sources in the finance and privatisation ministries. Etisalat had agreed to acquire the shares in PTCL in 2005 for USD2.6 billion, with payments to be staggered over a period of five years, but ceased making payments before this period ended, with around USD800 million left outstanding. Etisalat had ceased the payments until the government completed the transfer a number of properties agreed under the deal but since 2010 it has emerged that it is impossible for the government to complete the handover of all of the properties originally listed, and the parties have spent the last decade attempting to negotiate a compromise. 33 of the 3,248 agreed properties could not be transferred, and discussions have centred around valuations of these, with a view to adjusting the outstanding dues from Etisalat by the value of the properties. The current offer would see Etisalat reduce its payment by around USD533 million.

Pakistan, Etisalat Group, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL)