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Tue 21 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Etisalat broadens its reach

Etisalat expands its global reach by acquiring 26% of Pakistan Telecom, proving the strength of its strategy to be the leading telecom operator in region and beyond.

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has announced that it has been identified as the highest bidder for the acquisition of a 26% stake in Pakistan Telecommunications Corporation Limited (PTCL). This latest win reflects the determination of Etisalat to strengthen its position as the leading telecommunications company in the region and beyond through the efforts of the corporation’s international investment arm, Etisalat International.

The Pakistan Privatisation Commission made the announcement during a bidder’s conference held in Islamabad on the 18th June - a process involving many leading telecom companies. “Winning the PTCL bid is a huge achievement for Etisalat and is in line with its international strategy to gain a foothold in important markets such as Pakistan,” says Obaid Bin Mes’har, CEO of Etisalat International. “The bidding process headed by the Pakistan Privatisation Commission was transparent and professional throughout”, he adds.

Etisalat and its consortium partner, Dubai Islamic Bank, made the US$2.57 billion offer after a thorough and rigorous valuation of the market potential. Pakistan is the sixth highest populated country in the world. Nevertheless, it has an extremely low telecommunication services penetration.

“The Pakistani market provides for substantial synergy and growth opportunities for both companies. The country currently experiences accelerated economic growth, with many international corporations investing in the economy. Therefore, the economic outlook is very positive, especially for telecommunication services. Given its financial and operational strength, PTCL is ideally positioned to develop and grow,” Mes’har comments.

The acquisition of 26% of PTCL provides Etisalat International access to the management of the company and a pool of experienced professionals. This, combined with the financial resources, provides a suitable platform for furthering Etisalat’s international ambitions.

Etisalat International continues to look towards regional and international expansion and many opportunities are evaluated to this end. This latest acquisition further positions Etisalat amongst the leading international telecom players worldwide.

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