Etisalat drops $12bn bid for Zain

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Etisalat has abandoned its plan to buy Zain because of regional unrest and resistance from some Zain board members

Etisalat has discarded its $12 billion offer for a large stake in Kuwaiti operator Zain. The deal fell through due to the results of Etisalat’s due diligence process, a lack of unanimity among Zain board members and political unrest in the region.
The takeover would have given Etisalat access to new markets in the region, including Iraq, Kuwait and Morocco.
Etisalat — based in Abu Dhabi and officially called Emirates Telecommunications — launched its original offer worth about $11.7 billion for a 46% stake in Zain in September 2010. The company missed its first self-imposed due diligence deadline of January 15 2011 and its second due diligence deadline expired at the end of February.
Zain is 24.6%-owned by Kuwait Investment Authority and majority owned by Al-Khair National Stocks and Real Estate Company.
Last week, it accepted a $950 million offer to sell its Saudi business to Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding and Batelco Group. In 2010 Zain sold its sub-Saharan African operations to Bharti Airtel for $10.7 billion. GTB