Etisalat regrets Zain snub of Saudi operations bids

Etisalat, which is keen to complete a $12 billion bid for a controlling stake in Kuwait's Zain, said on Sunday it was comfortable with the pace of its due diligence on the firm.

The Gulf's largest telecoms company also said it regretted Zain's rejection of all bids for a 25-per cent stake in Zain Saudi, a key regulatory requirement for the Etisalat deal to go through.

"We are comfortable with the progress of the due diligence which aimed to be completed by end of February 2011," spokesman Ahmed bin Ali said in a statement.

"The due diligence process is still undergoing and, after this stage the results and the outcomes of (it) will be discussed with the sellers before presenting it to etisalat board of directors."

Etisalat still expects to complete due diligence by the end of February, he said.

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