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Qatar telecom firm Qtel to raise stake in Kuwait's Wataniya to 92.1 percent

KUWAIT CITY--Qatar's telecom giant Qtel announced Sunday its majority stake in Kuwait's Wataniya mobile firm will be raised to 92.1 percent in a deal worth US$1.85 billion, the company said in a statement.

Qtel said it has received the acceptance of shareholders owning around 200 million shares representing 39.61 percent of Wataniya at a price of 2.6 dinars (US$9.25) at the close of a tender offer on Oct. 4.

The Qatari firm had purchased around 52.5 percent of Wataniya about five years ago in a deal worth US$4.0 billion.

The new purchase includes 23.5 percent of shares held by Kuwait Investment Authority or the oil-rich Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund which is managing Kuwaiti overseas investments estimated at US$400 billion.

The value of KIA stake is approximately US$1.1 billion.

“Wataniya Telecom Kuwait's shareholders who have tendered their shares will receive payment within approximately three weeks, subject to approval by the Kuwait Capital Markets Authority and the Kuwait Stock Exchange,” Qtel said.

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