Saturday, December 01, 2007

Zain acquires Iraqna

Zain acquires Iraqna for $1.2 billion

Mobile Telecommunications Company K.S.C. ("Zain") announced today that it has concluded a binding agreement for the purchase of 100% of the share capital of Iraqna Company for Mobile Phone Services Ltd. ("Iraqna") a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding, ("The Transaction") for US$ 1.2 billion ("The Purchase Price") through its subsidiary MTC-Atheer.

This acquisition will consolidate MTC-Atheer’s market-leading position in Iraq giving rise to a combined customer base of more than 7 million customers. In August 2007, MTC-Atheer made a successful bid of US$1.25 billion to secure one of three 15-year nationwide licences awarded by the Iraqi Communication and Media Commission.

Commenting on the transaction, Dr. Saad Al Barrak, Managing Director-Deputy Chairman of Zain Group, stated: “We are delighted that MTC-Atheer’s acquisition of Iraqna will create one of the most dynamic and resourceful mobile telecoms companies in Iraq and in the region at large. This investment reinforces and demonstrates our commitment to the future prosperity of Iraq while complementing Zain’s aspirations of becoming a top ten global mobile operator by 2011.”

The expanded MTC-Atheer operation will have the second largest customer base in the Zain Group’s 22 operations across the Middle East and Africa now serving more than 43 million customers.

Ali Al-Dahwi, General Manager of MTC-Atheer said: “This is a proud day for Iraq as we integrate Iraqna into MTC-Atheer, creating the country’s leading telecommunications operator. The combined strengths and skills of our employees will better serve the people of Iraq, offering essential and high quality mobile services to more communities across the nation.”

The resulting MTC-Atheer operation’s network will span over 15,000 sq km, covering all the major populated areas and this network will be further expanded to cover all of Iraq in the future. Recently MTC-Atheer extended its services to Kirkuk in the north of Iraq.

The enhanced MTC-Atheer operation in Iraq will be re-branded Zain in early 2008.

UBS Investment Bank acted as sole financial advisor to Zain.

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