Zain approves bid from Batelco, Kingdom for Saudi stake
The board of Middle East operator Zain has approved a joint offer from Kingdom and Batelco for its 25 percent stake in Zain Saudi Arabia. Batelco said in a statement that the joint offer of USD 950 million cash for the stake does not include any assumption of the Saudi operator’s debt, contrary to earlier media reports. Batelco and Kingdom, owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, had earlier seen their individual offers for the Zain Saudi stake turned down by Zain. Zain’s Saudi unit must be sold before a deal for Etisalat to take a stake in Zain can go ahead, as Etisalat already operates in Saudi Arabia through the operator Mobily. Batelco said the offer is dependent on completing due diligence and securing other approvals, which could take up to six weeks. Batelco said it would act as technical partner in Kingdom’s bid for the stake in Zain Saudi Arabia.