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Zain loses buyer for Saudi Arabia stake
29 September 2011
Saudi prince and Batelco call off conversations about buying Zain’s stake in Saudi Arabian operator
Zain’s protracted negotiations to sell its remaining 25% stake in Zain Saudi Arabia have been abandoned. Now the Zain group said it “looks forward” to continuing to help Zain Saudi Arabia develop its business.
Zain had been talking about selling its 25% stake to a consortium formed of Bahrain’s Batelco and a Saudi investment company, Kingdom Holdings, headed by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud.
The prince, a billionaire investor, said that the decision to withdraw from the negotiations “follows a period of due diligence and discussions with Zain Group and other stakeholders” and added: “The Consortium concluded that the terms and conditions as set out in its non binding offer could not be met to its satisfaction.”
He said the decision “was in the best interests” of shareholders. “The interest of Kingdom Holding Company shareholders is our priority.”
Forbes estimated in March 2011 that the prince, who is US educated, is worth $19 billion. His investments include a large stake in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.
Zain group said that “acting in the best interest of its shareholders, [it] looks forward to assisting Zain KSA in the development of the latter’s mobile telecommunications business in the kingdom in the future.” GTB