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Etisalat to Seek Over $10 Billion From Banks at London Meeting

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Emirates Telecommunications Corp. plans to meet lenders next week in London to discuss terms on more than $10 billion of debt to fund its bid for a stake in Kuwait’s biggest phone operator, three people familiar with the situation said.

Etisalat, as the United Arab Emirates’ largest phone company is known, may hold the bank meeting by Dec. 16, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The deal would be the largest acquisition financing by a company in the Middle East and Africa since at least 1999, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat said on Sept. 30 it offered about $12 billion for a 46 percent stake in Mobile Telecommunications Co., or Zain.

The deal would extend Etisalat’s reach in the Middle East, where Zain operates in countries from Kuwait and Iraq to Bahrain. Etisalat offers telecommunications in 18 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, counting more than 100 million customers, according to its website. The seven emirates of the U.A.E make up about 86 percent of Etisalat’s sales.

Ahmed Bin Ali, a spokesman at Etisalat, wasn’t immediately available to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patricia Kuo in London at pkuo2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Faris Khan at fkhan33@bloomberg.net

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