30 Sep 2010
Zain has operations in eight countries in the Middle East, and a customer base of around 34.2 million.
The deal, if it goes through, would be one of the largest ever M&A deals in the Gulf.
Etisalat is rumored to have been negotiating for a stake in Indian operator Reliance Communications, but a deal has so far yet to materialize.
Shares in Zain swelled 7.9% yesterday to 1.36 dinar on the news. Etisalat shares are up 0.93% to 10.75 dirham.
Gulf telecom carriers have spent more than $33 billion on acquisitions since 2006, business analytics firm Dealogic estimates.