Omantel plans to tap bridge loan facility for Zain shares acquisition

Zain has a presence mostly in the Middle East and Africa, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Jordan. (Reuters)
Updated 23 August 2017
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Omantel plans to tap bridge loan facility for Zain shares acquisition

DUBAI: Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) plans to tap a bridge loan facility to fund the acquisition of a 9.84 percent stake at Zain, which was valued at $846.1 million (SR3.17 billion).
The loan would be taken through a long-term loan facility or combined with capital markets instrument, Omantel said in a disclosure to the country’s stock exchange.
“Both Moody’s Investors Services and S&P have confirmed Omantel’s current ratings post announcement with Moody’s qualifying further the transaction as credit positive,” the telecoms provider said.
Under the agreement signed earlier, Omantel will buy 425.7 million Zain treasury shares — or 9.84 percent — in cash at a price of 0.60 dinars ($1.99) per share during a public action scheduled tomorrow, August 24.
“Acquiring a minority stake in Zain is a deliberate investment for Omantel to position itself as a leading digital service provider,” the company said, which was in line with its corporate strategy of aiming for “growth and diversification.”
The transaction, once completed, would allow Omantel to expand its market to an additional nine countries with a population of about 175 million. Zain has a presence mostly in the Middle East and Africa, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Jordan.
Omantel was making a “deliberate investment” in Zain as part of its strategy to “position ourselves as a leading digital service provider,” Omantel’s Chief Financial Officer Martial Caratti earlier said.
Credit Suisse is acting as the exclusive financial adviser and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as legal adviser to Omantel on the deal.


Russia’s Novak sees agreement being reached at OPEC talks

Updated 35 min 48 sec ago
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Russia’s Novak sees agreement being reached at OPEC talks

MOSCOW: Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday he believed OPEC and its allies would reach an agreement when they discuss their global oil output deal at a meeting in Vienna.
Russia’s Energy Ministry is still in talks with Russian oil companies about the output deal, Novak said, adding he planned to meet Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih at a G20 summit in Japan later this week.
“I think we will definitely agree, there will be a consolidated general decision,” he told reporters when asked if he expected difficult talks at the Vienna meeting.