Mobily drops potential landline acquisition

Saudi Arabian number two Mobily has walked out of negotiations that could have resulted in it acquiring a stake in fixed-line provider Etihad Atheeb Telecommunications (EATC).

This suggests that the operator has given up on a potential move towards providing quad-play services.

The operator, an affiliate of the UAE’s Etisalat, had been in talks with EATC shareholders using its subsidiary Bayanat, which holds a fixed-line data licence. The acquisition of EATC would have provided Mobily with the capability of offering fixed and mobile packages.

While Mobily has not provided a reason for scrapping the talks, the negotiations may have simply dragged on for too long. In August last year, Bayant signed a memorandum of understanding with EATC’s founding shareholders that would have allowed it to acquire a majority holding in the operator. Last month, this figure had apparently been revised down to a 20% stake via a rights share issue.


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