Emirates Investment Authority increases stake in telecoms operator du

The government fund bought 463.3 million shares from Mamoura and General Investments

Charles Crowell / The National
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Emirates Investment Authority increased its stake in telecoms operator du in a special deal, the value of which was not disclosed.

EIA bought 463.3 million shares from Mamoura Diversified Global Holding and General Investments in the deal, du’s parent Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) said in a bourse filing.

The transaction represented about 10.2 per cent of du's issued share capital. Du shares closed on Thursday at Dh5.02 on the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded, after the transaction took place.

Prior to the deal, EIA held 39.9 per cent of du and Mamoura owned 19.92 per cent.

The stake sold to EIA is valued at about $630 million, according to Bloomberg. Du competes with rival Etisalat, which is the largest telecoms operator in the UAE.

"This monetisation is part of our strategy of continuously evaluating our portfolio, and realizing a return on an investment at the opportune time,” said Mounir Barakat, executive director of ICT at Mubadala Investment Company.

EITC reported a 12.3 per cent annual drop in earnings for Du in the first quarter of 2019, as revenues dipped. Net profit after royalties dropped to Dh449.4m, while revenue fell nearly 6 per cent to Dh3.1 billion compared with the year-earlier period.

"Industry wide challenges, with continued pressure on voice revenues and data monetisation, are reflected in our top line results," EITC chief executive Osman Sultan said in April.

Du aims to roll out 5G services this year, in line with plans to set up more than 700 5G-enabled broadband stations in the country by the end of 2019.