Kuwait’s Kharafi Group is leading the sale of 46 percent of telco Zain to UAE's Etisalat
Kuwait’s Kharafi Group, which is leading the sale of 46 percent of Zain to Emirates Telecommunications Corp, defended procedures followed in the $12bn deal which it said will have a positive effect on the Kuwaiti economy.
“Everyone who has seen the deal, including shareholders who have declared, for their own reasons, that they won’t be contributing to it, has affirmed that this deal is one of the most professional, transparent economic transactions, and one that achieves the most benefits for Zain shareholders,” Al Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate Co, which is owned by Kharafi, said in an advertisement in local newspapers on Wednesday.
Al Khair was responding to Tuesday’s ad by Al Fawares Holding Co, another Zain shareholder, which said it intends to sue Zain and its board for allowing Emirates Telecommunications, known as Etisalat, to conduct due diligence on the Kuwaiti phone operator without presenting the purchase offer. Al Fawares also cast doubt on the sincerity of Etisalat’s offer.
“Can shareholders’ interests be safeguarded by causing confusion and raising doubt over a deal which, if it succeeds, will bring lucrative returns for all shareholders?” Al Khair said today, describing Etisalat’s offer as “serious.”
The board of Mobile Telecommunications Co, generally known as Zain, approved on November 7 a request by Al Khair to conduct due diligence for the possible sale of a majority stake to Etisalat.
Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat said on September 30 that it offered KD1.7 ($6.1) a share for a controlling stake in Zain. The shares to be acquired will represent 51 percent of Zain’s total issued share capital and voting rights, Etisalat said November 3 after signing a preliminary agreement with Al Khair.