Saudi Arabia's Mobily Moves Closer to Buying Local Landline Operator
Published on: 30th Apr 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
The long drawn out attempt by Saudi Arabia's Mobily to buy a local landline operator appears to have moved closer to completion.
In a complex stock market statement, Mobily indicated that it has resolved some unspecified problems it had in structuring the takeover, and that the two sides are now in the final stages to complete the takeover.
As announced last August, the deal, if ever completed would see Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) taking a controlling stake in the country's second landline network Etihad Atheeb (trades as Go).
Etihad Atheeb Telecom is a joint venture of Atheeb Trading Company, Al-Nahla Trading Company, Bahrain's Batelco and Traco Company. Just under half its shares are listed on the stock exchange, where its shares have been suspended several times over the years due to its ongoing losses.
Mobily does not have a landline license, so the acquisition will enable it to sell bundled products and access the network for backhaul capacity. It already owns an ISP, which it bought in 2008.
The stock market statement warned that the deal has still not been finalised, and could still unravel at the last minute.