Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is considering buying a controlling stake in Kuwaiti telecom firm Zain
Saudi businessman Alwaleed bin Talal is currently considering to submit an offer to buy a controlling stake in Zain, Kuwaiti daily newspaper al-Seyassah said in an unsourced report.
Last week, Prince Alwaleed said that his firm, Kingdom Holding <4280.SE> was still in talks with Zain to buy the telecom firm's Saudi assets.
Asked if he would make a new offer for Zain Saudi after the company's previous bid was rejected, Prince Alwaleed said at a conference in Riyadh that Kingdom Holding <4280.SE> was still in talks with parent Zain.
Kingdom Holding was one of three bidders for Zain's Saudi unit, which must be sold in order to allow Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat
Etisalat, keen to expand outside its home market after losing its monopoly in 2007, had offered to buy a 46-percent stake in Zain last September from major shareholder Kharafi Group, a family-run conglomerate.
But the deal has been plagued by delays, including a lawsuit from unhappy Zain shareholders, and Etisalat has twice extended a self-imposed January 15 deadline to finish due diligence.
Earlier this month, a Zain source said Etisalat's attempt to buy the stake had failed, hours after the deal's architect appeared to walk away. But the UAE telco is still interested in the deal, a spokesman said.
(Reporting by Eman Goma; Editing by Shaheen Pasha)