Tecom eyeing two or three buyouts this year

Tecom Investments is looking at two or three acquisitions abroad as part of its expansion plan for the year, company officials said at the World Economic Forum in Sharm El Sheikh.

"We are considering two to three acquisitions this year," said Tecom Chief Executive Officer Abdullatif Al Mulla during a session with the press in the Egyptian resort town. The investments will be made in the regions of Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, he said without disclosing further details.

In April, Tecom was reportedly in discussions with Dell, but Al Mulla declined to comment on any specifics.

Tecom – responsible for free zones in Dubai specialising in media, information technology, energy and health services – is looking abroad for expansion and has been making investments in foreign companies since 2006. That year, Tecom, teaming with Dubai Investment Group, acquired a 35 per cent stake in Tunisie Telecom.

The two companies, both units of Dubai Holding, outbid NYSE-registered Vivendi Universal in a closely contested battle.

Tecom then acquired a controlling stake in Malta's GO through its Emirates International Telecommunication venture, which owns the UAE's second telecommunication service provider, du.

Following that, Tecom moved into Greece when it acquired 21 per cent of Greek internet firm Forthnet. Tecom also owns and operates the Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Knowledge Village business parks.

Buoyed by the success of these ventures in Dubai, Tecom has begun replicating its business park formula abroad and is involved in similar projects in India and Malta.