Reuters, citing banking sources familiar with the matter, reports that Qatar Telecom (Qtel) plans to buy out a private equity partner’s 19-percent stake in Iraqi telecoms operator Asiacell.
Qtel, the Gulf state’s former monopoly, has a 30-percent stake in Asiacell, Iraq’s number two operator, while its partner MerchantBridge owns 19 percent.
Morgan Stanley is reportedly assisting Qtel in the process, while London-based MerchantBridge is being advised by Credit Suisse.
In October, Asiacell appointed HSBC and Morgan Stanley to manage an initial public offering in Iraq. A potential sale of MerchantBridge’s stake was likely to happen before the IPO, the sources said.