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Mon 30 Apr 2007 04:00 AM

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Etisalat increases stake in Atlantique Telecom to 70%

Etisalat has increased its shareholding in West African operator Atlantique Telecom with the acquisition of an additional 20% of the company’s shares taking its total stake to 70%.

Etisalat has increased its shareholding in West African operator Atlantique Telecom with the acquisition of an additional 20% of the company’s shares taking its total stake to 70%.

Atlantique Telecom holds variant majority shares in seven telecoms operations in the Ivory Coast, Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Niger, Togo and the Central African Republic. These countries hold a combined population of approximately 60 million and mobile phone penetration of less than 10% at present.

Etisalat initially acquired 50% of Atlantique Telecom in 2005, and also assumed management rights for the organisation through a 10-year contract.

With Etisalat’s support, Atlantique acquired a license to enter the largest market in West Africa, the Ivory Coast, with the company officially launching its services in July 2006. In the first five months of operations the operator, which is branded Moov, acquired a 21% market share with a subscriber base of 500,000.

"Etisalat aims to develop services across all its investments in 14 countries in Africa and Asia. Etisalat's international achievements have mirrored the growth, development and innovation in the UAE,” commented Saeed Al Hamli, senior manager, Portfolio Management & Integration, Etisalat International Investments.

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