Etisalat buys Zain

Zain, Kuwait’s largest telecoms company, have agreed to sell a controlling stake in the company to Etisalat, the United Arab Emirate’s operator, in what would be one of the biggest deals on record in the Middle East.

Given that Zain owns 10 per cent of its own shares, the deal would give Etisalat a 51 per cent controlling stake in the Kuwaiti operator, and would be worth almost $12 billion. If the acquisition goes through it will transform Etisalat into the world’s 19th largest operator in terms of subscriptions, with almost 138 million customers across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, according to Informa Telecoms & Media, the research group.

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