Vodafone Qatar to buy QNBN

01 November 2014

VODAFONE Qatar said it has reached a non-binding agreement to buy state-owned Qatar National Broadband Network (QNBN) and expects to complete the deal by the end of the year, according to Reuters.

Vodafone Qatar, the country’s No 2 mobile operator by subscribers, will buy 100 per cent of QNBN, comprising 21 million shares at a par value of QR10 ($2.75) per share,  a company statement said.

That would equate to a deal worth QR210 million ($57.6 million), although Vodafone Qatar did not say whether it would actually pay par value for the shares.

QNBN began rolling out a fibre network across all of Qatar in 2012 and expects to complete construction within three years, according to its website.

The company has agreements to provide wholesale broadband capacity to both Vodafone Qatar and former telecom monopoly Ooredoo.

“Completion of the transaction is conditional upon regulatory approvals and consents, completion of due diligence, agreement on the consideration payable, the arrangement and provision of funding to finance the acquisition and entry into a definitive share purchase agreement,” Vodafone Qatar said.

Vodafone Qatar’s main shareholders are state-run Qatar Foundation, which owns 22 per cent, and London-listed Vodafone, which holds 23 per cent. The remainder of the shares are freely traded. Government entities own the majority of Ooredoo. Vodafone Qatar had a 33.8 per cent share of Qatar’s mobile subscribers as of March 31, according to its financial statement.

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