Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) is looking to buy another 12 per cent of Zain Group, having signed a letter of intent with shareholder Al Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate (Al Khair).
In a statement, Omantel said Al Khair, which is a Kuwaiti investment company, is currently “studying and evaluating” the offer.
Omantel bought a 9.8 per cent stake in Kuwait-based Zain Group for $846 million in August. At the time Zain CEO Bader Al-Kharafi said the companies “complement each other as do our cultures”.
The latest deal, revealed in a stock exchange filing yesterday, would make Omantel the second largest shareholder in Zain after Kuwait Investment Authority, which holds 24.6 per cent.
While financial terms of the proposed deal were not disclosed, reports pegged the figure at around $960 million.
Joice Mathew, head of equity research at United Securities in Oman city Muscat, told Bloomberg there is a “small chance” Omantel could assume management control of Zain, especially as Kuwait Investment Authority is essentially a financial backer.