Saudi Telecom Company’s (STC) offer for the shares it does not already own in Kuwaiti affiliate Viva is not high enough, but ultimately the decision on whether to sell or not is up to the shareholders, Viva’s board said.
Last week, STC got clearance from the Kuwait Capital Markets Authority to make a bid for the 74 per cent share it does not own in Viva, but its offer price raised some eyebrows.
Meanwhile, STC said in a separate statement it does not plan on amending the price and will proceed with its offer in line with Kuwaiti regulations.
The company is offering KWD1 ($3.30) per share, which was below the price the stock was trading at in the run-up to last week’s announcement. However, it does represent a premium on the price in the period to mid-November, which was the point at which STC revealed its intention.
STC already owns 26 per cent of Viva and is making a bid for the remaining 499.4 million shares. This gives a maximum cost of around KWD500 million ($1.65 billion).
Other major shareholders are Public Institute for Social Security (9.73 per cent) and Kuwait Investment Authority (6 per cent).
Viva and Ooredoo are roughly level pegging in the Kuwait mobile market, behind market leader Zain.