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Sat 19 Feb 2011 12:49 PM

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No deal reached for Zain Saudi: Alwaleed's Kingdom

Saudi investment group seen as the favourite over Bahrain Telecommunications Co

No deal reached for Zain Saudi: Alwaleed's Kingdom
IN DEBT: Zain Saudi has racked up mounting losses since launching services in August 2008 (Getty Images)

Saudi investment group Kingdom Holding said on Saturday its offer for a key stake in Zain Saudi expired after it failed to reach a deal with the seller, Kuwait's Zain.

Kingdom Holding had been seen as the favourite over rival bidder Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) to buy a one quarter holding in Zain's debt-troubled Saudi subsidiary, valued at $750m.

"The board of Zain Kuwait did not provide Kingdom Holding with an answer with regard to the presented offer so the offer period expired without reaching any agreement," Kingdom Holding said in a statement issued via the Saudi bourse.

Both offers for the stake in Zain Saudi, which Zain wants to sell as part of its $12bn deal to be taken over by UAE-based Etisalat, expired on Wednesday.

An investment consortium led by Al Riyadh Group has also made an offer for Zain Saudi, but Zain said no price was stated and the group's backers remain unknown.

Zain Saudi has racked up mounting losses since launching services in August 2008 and has an estimated $3.9bn of debts, with buyers likely to take over any debt guarantees held by parent Zain.

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