Term sheet for Zain KSA stake acquisition in line with offer

Saudi investment group Kingdom Holding and Bahraini incumbent Batelco’s term sheet to acquire Zain’s 25% stake in Saudi unit Zain KSA “is in line with the Consortium`s non binding offer as submitted on 13 March 2011 and Zain`s Group`s acceptance on 14…

Saudi investment group Kingdom Holding and Bahraini incumbent Batelco’s term sheet to acquire Zain’s 25% stake in Saudi unit Zain KSA “is in line with the Consortium`s non binding offer as submitted on 13 March 2011 and Zain`s Group`s acceptance on 14 March 2011”, Batelco CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos has said in a statement to the Bahraini bourse.

The statement came after Batelco’s shares were suspended on the local stock market, after a Kuwaiti newspaper reported the deal was going ahead, according to Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News. A stock market spokesperson reportedly told the paper that the stock was suspended since Batelco had not officially clarified its position.

“All parties look forward to the due diligence phase and approvals from all relevant authorities in KSA including Zain KSA Board,” Mr. Kaliaropoulos added.

This confirms what TelecomFinance reported yesterday, that due diligence on Zain KSA had yet to begin. Not mentioned in Batelco or Zain’s statement on the non-binding term sheet is whether the issue of whether the buyers would take over the guarantees on Zain KSA’s US$3.8bn in debt.

Batelco and Kingdom have both insisted that financing will not be a problem, with Kaliaropoulos recently saying that Batelco had received lending proposals worth up to US$1.2bn.

Kingdom has not made a statement on the non-binding term sheet.

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