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Mon 6 Dec 2010 02:38 PM

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Securities Group wants to join Zain-Etisalat deal

Brokerage firm retracts on previous stance opposing the $12bn deal

Securities Group wants to join Zain-Etisalat deal
JOIN DEAL: Securities Group, a brokerage firm that has opposed the deal to sell 46% of Zain to Etisalat now wants to join the deal

Securities Group Co, a brokerage firm that has opposed the structure of deal to sell 46 percent of Kuwaiti telecom group Zain to Etisalat now wants to join the deal, a newspaper reported on Monday.

Al Qabas daily said, without citing sources, that Securities Group has "informed the selling consortium ... it wants to join with shares owned by its clients."

Securities Group chairman, Ali al Mousa, confirmed the report to Reuters on Monday, but declined to provide any details.

Etisalat, the Gulf's second largest telecom operator by market value, has bid 1.7 Kuwaiti dinars per share for a 46 percent stake in Zain in a deal worth just under $12bn.

The bid won the backing of major Zain shareholder Kharafi Group which began gathering a consortium of shareholders to tender shares to Etisalat.

But Securities Group, unhappy at not being part of the deal, ran an advertisement in Kuwaiti papers in October, offering Zain shareholders 1.65 dinars per share to try and counter the offer. However, the bourse vetoed the bid saying it was in contravention of its regulations.

Al Fawares Holding, which owns 4.5 percent of Zain, also opposes the sale process, and has threatened to sue potential buyers of the Zain's Saudi unit, which is slated for divestment as part of the Etisalat deal.

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