Vodafone Qatar agrees to buy state-owned broadband player

Vodafone Qatar agrees to buy state-owned broadband player

03 OCT 2014

Vodafone Qatar, the smaller of the two mobile operators in Qatar (behind Ooredoo), announced a non-binding agreement to buy state-owned Qatar National Broadband Network (QNBN).

The deal could be worth around $57 million, reports Reuters, which would see Vodafone Qatar fully own the broadband operator.

QNBN already has wholesale broadband agreements with both Vodafone Qatar and Ooredoo.

In a Vodafone statement no mention is made of quadplay ambitions but rather that the combination of the two companies would “enable Vodafone Qatar to deliver the benefits of choice to customers in the fixed-line market in Qatar”.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval, which, “subject to all conditions being fulfilled”, Vodafone Qatar expects will be given and the transaction completed on or before 31 December 2014.

Vodafone Group has a 22 per cent stake in the Qatari operator and state-run Qatar Foundation holds another 22 per cent. The remaining shares are listed.

The deal to buy QNBN is the latest in a series of broadband purchases made by the UK-headquartered group as it seeks to bolster its portfolio of triple and quadplay services.

It recently bought a 72.7 per cent stake in Greek fixed and broadband player Hellas Online for €72.7 million, as well as splashing out  €7.2 billion on acquiring Spanish cable service provider Ono, and €7.7 billion buying Kabel Deutschland in October last year.

Vodafone Group has been on a stronger financial footing since it sold its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless to partner Verizon Communications in a $130 billion (£84 billion) cash and stock deal.

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Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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