Zain Vice-Chairman & Group CEO Bader Al Kharafi

KUWAIT: Mobile Telecommunications Company (Zain), a leading telecom pioneer in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, announced yesterday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its entire block of treasury shares, representing 9.84 percent of Zain's fully paid in and issued share capital, to Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel). Under the agreement, Zain will sell 425,711,648 shares to Omantel for KD 0.600 per share.

The price of the treasury shares of KD 0.600 represents a 33 percent premium to the spot price on 9 August and 36 percent premium to the 1-month volume-weighted-average-price. The sale of the treasury shares will raise KWD 255.4 million, or $846.1 million, in cash before expenses. The equity issuance will further strengthen Zain's balance sheet and provide significant liquidity. The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including the potential prepayment of certain debt obligations.

Commenting on the transaction, Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi, Vice Chairman and Group CEO of Zain said: "The liquidity from the sale of these treasury shares will significantly enhance Zain's strategic and financial flexibility at a time where we continue to seek opportunities in the digital space and invest in upgrading our modern networks to enhance the mobile experience for our customers. We welcome the investment by Omantel which demonstrates their confidence in the strength of our business and in Zain's strategic direction of becoming a premier integrated digital lifestyle operator."

The sale of treasury shares of Zain was approved by its shareholders and the Capital Markets Authority of Kuwait earlier this year and the current transaction has been approved by the Board of Directors of both Zain and Omantel. The transaction is subject to certain other regulatory approvals and processes including the approval of Boursa Kuwait and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017. Citigroup Global Markets Limited served as financial advisor and Meysan Partners as legal advisor.