Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Arabia’s second largest cellco in terms of subscribers, has announced that its subsidiary Bayanat Al-Oula has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the main shareholders of Etihad Atheeb Telecom (GO Telecom), outlining the acquisition agreement for the controlling stake in the Saudi fixed line and broadband operator. According to a press release on Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), Bayanat Al-Oula inked the agreement with Atheeb Trading Company, Batelco of Bahrain and Al-Nahla Trading Company on 20 August 2013. The proposed transaction is subject to regulatory approval by the Kingdom’s telecoms watchdog the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) and Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority (CMA), and the satisfactory completion of specific commercial, financial, legal and technical conditions by 30 November 2013.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Mobily has been in negotiations to obtain a stake in GO Telecom since June 2013, when the two companies entered into preliminary non-binding talks for the acquisition of a stake in the loss-making GO by one of Mobily’s subsidiaries, later identified as Bayanat Al-Oula. GO is currently owned by Atheeb Trading Company (which holds a 25% stake), Batelco of Bahrain (15%) and Al-Nahla Trading Company (13.7%), with the rest of the shares publicly owned.