Batelco Group CEO Expresses Confidence in Group’s Ability to Raise Funds for Zain KSA Deal

Batelco Group Chief Executive Officer, Peter Kaliaropoulos has reiterated Batelco’s confidence in their ability to raise sufficient funds to pay for their share of Zain KSA.

Mr. Kaliaropoulos expressed surprise at news stories suggesting that the Batelco Group was struggling to raise the necessary funds for its joint purchase of Zain KSA due to the political climate in the region.

“I would like to express our complete surprise on such highly speculative, unfounded and erroneous comments. Batelco Group (“Batelco”), based on proposals received from financial institutions, is confident that it has the capability to raise debt up to $ 1.2 billion,” Mr. Kaliaropoulos stated.

“Batelco delivered in 2010, $387 million in EBITDA and $289 million cashflow. Batelco, as at 28 February 2011 had effectively zero debt on its balance sheet.”

“With EBITDA and cashflows of such orders of magnitude, we are confident that we can raise the required funds to contribute to the Consortium with Kingdom Holding Company for the acquisition of 25% of Zain KSA,” he said.

“Events in the last few weeks may increase in the short term the cost for such financing but based on feedback from GCC and international banks, there is healthy interest and a competitive spirit, from banking partners to deliver the required financing,” Mr. Kaliaropoulos added.

“Upon completion of the due diligence exercise, detail funding arrangements will accompany the binding offer from the Consortium and will be communicated to all the stakeholders,” he concluded.

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