Stock - e&
e& Group (formerly Etisalat) has been seeing through a series of major acquisitions across categories as well as cross-border deals in the UK, Central Europe and elsewhere. Mobily in Saudi Arabia represents one of its biggest revenue generators. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE tech-telecom company e& will not pursue its plans to raise its shareholding in its Saudi subsidiary Mobily (Etihad Etisalat).

It was early last year that e& confirmed moves to take its shareholding in Mobily to 50 per cent plus 1 share from the existing 27.99 per cent. As a telco, Mobily has a 40 per cent share of the lucrative Saudi marketplace and holding its own against stc (Saudi Telecom Co.). (Mobily went operational in 2005.)

If the deal had gone ahead, it would have bought the additional Mobily stake at SR47, according to reports at the time. That plan has now been put on the backburner. The other major shareholder in Mobily is Saudi Arabia's General Organization for Social Insurance.

“Emirates Telecommunications Group Co e& has terminated discussions regarding a possible increase in its shareholding in Mobily,” the UAE company said. (The e& stock is trading at Dh19.88 on ADX.)

“Following a period of engagement, a way forward to conclude the potential transaction could not be determined. Hence, e& has now decided not to pursue the financial transaction.”

Mobily is trading at SR49.40 on the Saudi Tadawul, just under its 52-week high of SR50. For now, “e& will continue to focus on supporting Mobily as its largest shareholder and remains positive about Mobily’s future within the rapidly growing Saudi market,” the statement added.

e& (formerly Etisalat) had in the recent past been making some bold moves in terms of acquisitions, and cutting across the consumer and enterprise sectors. This has included overseas deals as well, including stakes in some of the biggest telecom entities.