Omantel completes Zain shares purchase

14 November 2017
Zain among bidders in the recently cancelled bid for Oman's third mobile license contract

Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) has completed the transaction to acquire an additional 12.1 per cent of the issued share capital of Kuwait-based Mobile Telecommunications Company (Zain).

The value of the transaction is estimated at $1.35bn.

This brings the Oman telecom firm’s total shareholding in Zain Group to 21.9 per cent, equivalent to a total equity valued at $2.19bn, the company said in a statement.

It also makes Omantel the second largest shareholder in Zain.

The 12.1 per cent shares were acquired from sellers Al-Khair National for Stocks & Real Estate Company, Kuwaiti British Readymix Company, and Gulf National Holding Company.

MEED understands Omantel financed this transaction with a combination of long-term and bridge loan facilities. The bridge loan facility will subsequently be taken out through long-term capital markets instruments.

Credit Suisse acted as exclusive financial adviser and Freshfields Bruckhaus as legal adviser to Omantel.

Credit Suisse and Citi acted as bookrunners, mandated lead arrangers and original lenders. Bank Muscat, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank and Bank ABC acted as bookrunners and mandated lead arrangers in the acquisition financing.

In October, Oman cancelled the tender for the contract to operate its third mobile license in favour of a team comprising its sovereign wealth funds and an undisclosed “international partner.”

UAE-based Etisalat Group, Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Telecom Company and Kuwait’s Zain submitted a bid for contract.

Oman currently has two mobile telecoms operators – Omanmobile, a subsidiary of Oman Telecommunications (Omantel), and the Oman subsidiary of Qatar-based Ooredoo.


A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.

Get Notifications