Kuwaiti mobile operator Zain has accepted a joint bid from Bahrain Telecom (Batelco) and Riyadh-based Kingdom Holding Company for a 25 per cent stake in its Saudi Arabian mobile unit.  

Batelco and Kingdom Holding submitted a non-binding offer on 13 March worth $950m in cash, subject to the due diligence findings to be carried out by Kingdom Holding over the next six weeks. The offer does not include undertakings of Zain Saudi Arabia’s $3.8bn debt.

“The news has favourable consequences for Etisalat’s proposed acquisition and also sees Batelco making greater strides in the Middle East region. For Zain, it provides the opportunity to further bed down its operations and perhaps leverage synergies with its new partners,” says Lindsey McDonald, consultant of information and communication technologies practice at US-based research firm Frost & Sullivan.