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Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has agreed to double its stake in Iraq’s telecom operator Asiacell to 60 per cent in a deal worth US$1.47 billion
Qtel said in a statement that it would increase its shareholding in the Iraq telecom firm to 60 per cent, but will initially raise its stake to 53.9 per cent from 30 per cent, with a further increase subject to Iraqi government and regulatory authority approval.
The transaction will be financed from existing funds.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, chairman of the Qtel Group, said, “The Iraqi market is about to enter a period of rapid broadband and data growth.
“This acquisition is in line with our long-term strategy of active portfolio development through which we seek to increase our ownership in companies with significant potential.”
Qtel is looking to prepare an IPO for Asiacell later in the year.
Iraq's Farouk Group Holding owns 51 per cent of Asiacell and private equity firm MerchantBridge holds 19 per cent.