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Wed 11 May 2011 01:12 PM

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UAE's Etisalat has no interest in fresh Zain bid

Abu Dhabi telco scrapped $12bn takeover bid in March, eyeing new foreign acquisitions

UAE's Etisalat has no interest in fresh Zain bid
Etisalat is eyeing foreign expansion in a bid to grow revenues outside its home market

UAE's Etisalat will not bid again for Zain after it scrapped
a $12bn takeover of the Kuwaiti firm in March, Etisalat's chief international
investments officer said on Tuesday.

"We have put Zain behind us. It's over," Jamal al
Jarwan said at a telecoms conference.

Etisalat scrapped its offer to buy a controlling stake in
Zain citing Zain's divided board, extended due diligence and regional unrest.

The firm also cited new Kuwaiti capital markets laws related
to takeovers which require anyone who buys more than 30 percent of a listed
Kuwaiti firm to bid for the remaining outstanding shares within 30 days
effective in March.

"The main reason was the mandatory tender offer ...
that would mean we would have to tender offer to all [Zain] shareholders, that
would make it more than $12bn," he said, adding that opposition from
some minority shareholders was another hurdle.

A Kuwaiti Capital Markets Authority official had said at the
time that the bylaw would not apply to deals agreed before its March
implementation.

Jarwan said Etisalat is eyeing foreign expansion but added
opportunities were scarce.

"We are in acquisition mode, given that the opportunity
is correct, adds value and creates synergies with other operations, but there's
nothing much left," he said.

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