Zain studies offers for Africa units
Kuwait City, July 1, 2009
Telecom company Zain is prepared to sell its African operations after receiving several offers including one from Europe's largest entertainment group, Vivendi, according to a report.
'Zain has no objection to go ahead with the deal in case the offered price was in line with the level Zain wants,' assistant chief executive for business development and government relations Barrak Al Subeih said.
Zain, whose biggest shareholder is Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund, has spent heavily to expand and operates in 23 countries in the Middle East and Africa.
It has spent more than $12 billion in Africa since 2005, including nearly $3bn in Nigeria, and said it planned to spend up to $2 billion more on the continent this year.
However, African media have reported in recent weeks that Zain was looking to sell its African business and would study bids made by other companies if no deal was reached with Vivendi.
The comments yesterday's Al Anbaa come after the chief executive of Zain Africa declined comment on June 23 on rumours the business may be sold to Vivendi.
If Zain, Kuwait's largest mobile operator, sold its African operations it would look for expansion opportunities in other areas with higher growth rates such as the Middle East or the Far East, Al Subeih said.
Subeih said that he expected Zain to post an 'exceptional' profit in the second quarter compared with the 2008 period, the paper reported. – TradeArabia News Service