KUWAIT: The Kharafi Group, a major Zain shareholder, has received enough shares to tender to Etisalat’s offer for a 46-percent stake in the Kuwaiti telecoms firm, an executive said on Thursday.
Kharafi unit National Investments Co. (NIC) had advertised for shareholders to join a consortium and tender their shares.
"We have approvals from our clients to join the consortium … and these approvals have taken us to the 46 percent," Hamad al-Ameeri, general manager of NIC told Reuters.
Etisalat, formally called Emirates Telecommunications Corp., has bid 1.7 dinars for the stake, valuing the deal at just under $12 billion.
Kuwaiti family conglomerate Kharafi owns a 12.7 percent stake in Zain through one of its units, according to bourse data, but analysts estimate Kharafi’s stake to be around 20 percent through other firms it controls.
Ameeri said "things are going better than we expected," but it was difficult to set now a date for the closing of the deal.
Etisalat officials were not immediately available for comment.
A Zain spokesman said: "No comment on shareholders’ issues, and as far as the management is concerned, business is as usual."