Kuwait's Zain says $4.5bn lawsuit against Iraqi unit dismissed

Iraqi unit was being sued over $1.2bn acquisition of rival operator Iraqna from Egypt's Orascom Telecom in 2007

An Iraqi court has dismissed a $4.5 billion lawsuit against Zain Iraq and the country's top telecom operator will now seek to get a freeze on some of its earnings removed, its Kuwaiti parent Zain said on Thursday.

In April, Zain revealed its Iraqi unit was being sued over the $1.2 billion acquisition of rival operator Iraqna from Egypt's Orascom Telecom in 2007.

The unidentified company also sought damages from Iraq's telecom regulator, the Communications and Media Commission (CMC), but a local court has dismissed the case against Zain Iraq and the CMC, a Zain statement to Kuwait's bourse said.

This judgment allows for an appeal to be lodged within 15 days, the statement said.

An Iraqi court in January ordered Zain Iraq's revenue from subscribers obtained through buying Iraqna to be placed under a legal guardian and in an Iraqi bank until the case was resolved.

Zain Iraq, the country's largest mobile operator by subscribers, will now apply to get these restrictions removed, the statement added.

Iraqna had about 3 million subscribers at the time of Zain's acquisition, while Zain Iraq accounted for 40 percent of its parent's first-quarter revenue.

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