Kuwaiti telecoms giant Zain Group has denied reports suggesting that it is still interested in acquiring Sudanese telecom provider Canar Telecom (Canartel), a subsidiary of United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Etisalat. According to Arabian Business, the company has now issued a statement reading: ‘Zain has no intention to enter into negotiations with Etisalat’s telecom arm in Sudan.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month, reports emerged suggesting that Etisalat was planning to revive talks to offload Canartel to Zain, despite a breakdown in negotiations earlier this year. According to unnamed sources, talks collapsed around the start of 2013, with Etisalat thought to have backed out because it believed other parties might consider buying Canartel and so hoped to get a better price for its subsidiary.
Etisalat was hit with impairment charges of AED459 million (USD124.97 million) related to its Sudanese operation in FY2012, due to inflation and the tough political and economic conditions in the country, and is now thought to be eager to sell what it considers to be a ‘peripheral investment’.