DUBAI, (Reuters) – UAE telecoms firm Etisalat, whose $12 billion bid for a controlling stake in Zain has been hit by setbacks, on Wednesday said it was still interested in the Kuwaiti firm.
Etisalat said it had accumulated all the information required for due diligence on Zain and will now analyse it and discuss the results with the seller.
“(Etisalat’s) stand towards Zain acquisition is not changed and Etisalat is still interested in the Zain deal,” a spokesman said in a statement.
Etisalat, the Gulf’s largest telecoms firm, offered in September to buy a 46-percent stake in Zain for 1.7 dinars a share from major Zain shareholder, Kuwaiti family conglomerate Kharafi Group.
On Tuesday, a Zain source said the Abu Dhabi-based firm’s attempt to buy the stake had failed, hours after the deal’s architect appeared to walk away. National Investments Co. (NIC), the investment firm owned by Kharafi Group, on Tuesday said its binding agreement to sell the stake to Etisalat was over after a February 28 deadline for due diligence passed unmet.