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25 April 2024

Etisalat eyes three part loan for Zain

Etisalat is still in talks to reach an accord on its offer for a 46 per cent stake in Zain telecom (FILE)

By Staff

Etisalat will finance acquisition of Kuwait’s Zain telecom in three stages through bridge loan, bonds and sukuks, Chief Financial Officer Salem Al Sharhan told Bloomberg in an interview.

The UAE-based telecom operator will raise $12 billion through these various methods.

The first $6 billion will be a bridge loan, payable in 18 months; and will borrow $3 billion payable in three years; and another $3 billion payable in five years, he said. The $6 billion bridge loan will be refinanced through bonds and sukuks, al Sharhan said.

The telecom major has signed an agreement with 18 global and regional banks for the loan. The majority of the banks are international lenders with four regional players, including Saudi Arabia’s Samba Financial Group, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Emirates NBD, and National Bank of Kuwait, he said.

There is a “big chance” that all 18 banks will be involved in the financing, but the number might still change, said Al Sharhan.

Etisalat is still in talks to reach an accord on its offer for a 46 per cent stake in Mobile Telecommunications, known as Zain and the country’s biggest phone company, after it missed a Jan. 15 deadline.

“The next stage will include negotiating with banks the specific terms of the financing and then the prices. We are trying to be prepared so that if the acquisition is finalised the financing will be ready,” Al Sharhan was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.