Kuwait's MTC grabs Saudi mobile license with $6b bid

Kuwait's MTC) announced that it has won the third mobile telecommunications license in Saudi Arabia, after offering a bid of $6.1 billion, the official KUNA news agency, quoted by a Xinhua News report, said.

According to KUNA, the MTC bid was the highest in the tender for the license in Saudi Arabia . The MTC-led consortium was one of seven competitors for the high-profile deal.

Saad Al Barrak, CEO of MTC, was quoted as saying that 'we are delighted to have acquired the third mobile license in the attractive Saudi mobile market.'

'We have a strong consortium of Saudi partners, the most achievable synergy, and the operating expertise to bring world class services to the people of Saudi Arabia,' he added.

MTC currently holds a 50% interest in the consortium which will be reduced to 25% following a mandatory IPO of the new mobile operator in Saudi Arabia.

The license gives MTC a presence in the largest market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region in terms of population and the largest economy in the Middle East, said KUNA, adding the expected launch date of MTC's services in the kingdom is in early 2008.