Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) has announced it is in talks to buy 20% of Etihad Atheeb Telecoms through a rights issue by the loss-making telecom operator, Reuters has reported. The rights issue would be open to all shareholders, who would face having their holdings diluted unless they pumped more money into the company. Atheeb, which has about 200,000 customers according to its website, has struggled to compete against former monopoly Saudi Telecom Co (STC) and analysts say the main attraction for Mobily is to acquire Atheeb’s landline licence. Among Atheeb’s founding shareholders, Atheeb Trading Co owns 16.4%, Al-Nahla Group 13.9% and Traco Group for Trading and Contracting 5.9%, while Saudi Internet Co owns an undisclosed stake.
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