In line with Batelco's policy to expand its Internet and data communication services beyond the shores of Bahrain, the company signed in Cairo yesterday, an agreement to acquire shares in SofiCom Communications of Egypt. The company also announced it has signed an agreement to set up a joint venture in Jordan to provide Internet services in the kingdom.
According to the shareholder's purchase agreement, Batelco's subsidiary, Batelco Middle East Company (BMEC) will have an acquisition of 48 percent of Soficom shares, giving BMEC the management control of the newly formed company. The rest of the shares will be held by EgyNet (50.25 percent), and by Amr Aboualam and Tarek Aboualam (1.75 percent).
The Soficom acquisition builds on other BMEC investments made in service providers in Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and gives BMEC a foothold not only in the Egyptian Internet access market, but also related services like web design and portal development.
Batelco, the Bahrain Telecommunications Company, also announced it has signed a joint venture deal with three firms operating in Jordan, to provide Internet services in the kingdom. First Telecommunications Group, National Equipment and Technical Services, and Foursan Technology Partners. Batelco would hold a 51 percent stake in the venture and the Jordanian partners would hold the remaining 49 percent.
A statement by Batelco said the new firm will provide Internet, managed data and associated value-added services in Jordan, adding that Batelco-Jordan would pool together the financial, technical and managerial resources of the three firms to create a larger and more competitive Internet Service Provider.
King Abdallah has been leading the effort to make Jordan a hub for information technology and Internet firms. Batelco has one of the most advanced networks in the region. It is 39 percent owned by the Bahraini government and 20 percent by Cable and Wireless of Britain. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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