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  Communications
ICA decides on Orascom-Wataniya conflict
24/11/2007 | LOC17:13
14:13 GMT
| Kuwait News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
KUWAIT, Nov 24 (KUNA) -- The International Court of Arbitration (ICA) on Saturday decided upon a conflict between Orascom Telecom and Wataniya on shares of Tunisiana, the largest second mobile communication provider in Tunisia. The court, affiliated to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), decided that there would no transfer of stake ownership, thus favoring Wataniya.
Kuwait's Wataniya said in a news release that the court had not asked it to pay any damages. The decision stated that although Wataniya failed to appoint Tunisiana's board of directors, it was not enough to be deemed a breach that could require Wataniya to transfer its 50-percent stake to Orascom just as was required by the latter, according to the release.
The Kuwaiti wireless firm Wataniya had rejected Orascom Telecom's claim of right of first refusal to acquire Wataniya's 50% stake in their Tunisian joint venture Tunisiana. Orascom announced that it had asked the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to arbitrate in its dispute with Wataniya. But, Wataniya maintained there had been no breach of contract and that Orascom's claim was entirely without merit.
Qtel and Wataniya Board Chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud said when Qtel acquired Wataniya from KIPCO in March 2007, the deal included all relevant commitments and obligations, embracing the conflict between Wataniya and Orascom and partnership of 50 percent for each in Tunisiana.
He voiced satisfaction with the international binding decision that would end the conflict and allow Wataniya to work constructively with Orascom to boost Tunisiana's position in Tunisia. Meanwhile, KIPCO said it would be able to receive an additional sum of KD 89.4 million out of the sale of its shares in Wataniya from Qtel following the just-pronounced decision. Qtel and KIPCO agreed in March that part of the USD-1-billion deal would be delayed until the dispute was over. (end) hq.mt KUNA 241713 Nov 07NNNN
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