Bayanat Al-Oula, a subsidiary of Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Arabia’s second largest cellco in terms of subscribers, and the main shareholders of Etihad Atheeb Telecom (GO Telecom), have once again extended the deadline for the completion of its deal for Mobily to secure the controlling stake in the Saudi fixed line and broadband operator to 30 April 2014. The new delay has been attributed to Bayanat’s failure to complete the ‘commercial, financial, technical and legal due diligence to its satisfaction, due to the challenges it faces in respect of the structuring of the proposed transaction’. Further, the involved parties have stated that there is no exclusivity clause in place for the proposed transaction.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, 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; a 30 November 2013 deadline was initially earmarked for the deal’s completion.
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.