Qatar Telecom to acquire majority stake in Kuwait's Wataniya for $3b

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) is expected to acquire a 51% stake of Kuwait's Wataniya, in a deal worth over $3 billion, the Kuwait Times reported.

The initial deal, signed last week, could be officially signed and announced five days later in line with a local stock regulation, the daily said.

Under the deal, Kuwait Project (KIPCO), a private holding company, would sell its entire 51% stake of 233.688 million shares to Qtel for 1.075 billion Kuwait dinars ($3.6 billion dollars), KIPCO CEO Faisal al-Ayyar was quoted as saying.

Al-Ayyar said that Qtel has agreed to pay per share for 4.6 dinars ($15.9 dollars), up from last week's closing price of 3.1 dinars ($10.7 dollars).

When completed, the deal will become the largest ever acquisition by a foreign company in Kuwait , said the report.

Wataniya, which began operations in 1999, is one of two mobile phone operators in Kuwait . The other is Mobile Telecommunications, established in 1983.