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Qtel Approaches Wataniya to buy Outstanding Shares

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has moved to buy out minority stakes in Kuwaiti operator group Wataniya Telecom.

The Kuwait Capital Markets Authority has approved the company’s offer document meaning it can proceed with its mandatory tender offer of KWD622.4 million (US$2.2 billion). The document has been sent to the board of Wataniya Telecom to review and advise shareholders.

Qtel CEO Dr. Nasser Marafih said: “Our offer to the existing shareholders of Wataniya Telecom is in line with our global strategy to simplify group structure and governance and maximise our subsidiaries’ growth potential, efficiency and overall operational effectiveness.”

The bid offers KWD2.60 per share. In July, the credit ratings agency Moody’s reported that such a purchase would be ‘credit negative,’ though would not affect Qtel’s overall A2 credit rating.

Qtel Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani said, “We are grateful for the steadfast support of Wataniya Telecoms shareholders to date and believe this cash offer provides shareholders with an attractive option to capitalise on their investments at a fair price.”

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