PTCL handover in two weeks – Atlast!

The government and the UAE telecom firm Etisalat reached an agreement on modalities and procedures for transfering the Pakistan telecommunication Company’s (PTCL) management in the next couple of weeks.

According to the revised agreement, Etisalat would immediately pay $ 1.14 billion to take the management control. It has already paid $260 million (10 per cent of the total amount).

The committee also allowed Etisalat to pay the remaining $1.2 billion in nine six-monthly instalments. Each instalment would amount to $133 million and the process would be completed by the end-2010.

Discussions were held over the past two days between the government of Pakistan and Etisalat about the PTCL’s acquisition and “we reached an agreement on all modalities and procedures,” an official announcement issued said.

“Both the parties committed themselves to the new partnership, which would further strengthen the brotherly ties between the UAE and Pakistan”, the announcement said.

On Jan 6, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) had approved the sale of PTCL by slightly restructuring a large chunk of financial transaction that allowed Etisalat to complete payments by 2010.

The deal, agreed upon by the Etisalat and the Privatisation Commission of Pakistan in Dubai in December, was approved in the CCOP meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

The instalment structure would be fully backed by corporate guarantees to be furnished by the Etisalat.

The CCOP had also approved the proposal of the Privatisation Commission to offload up to 25 per cent of ‘Class A’ shares of PTCL in several tranches through competitive bidding over the next five years.

Etisalat would also be offered to acquire those shares through a right to match the highest bid.

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