Etisalat Group eyes expansion opportunities

Telco keeps an eye on potential for growth via partnerships, alliances and M&A
Ahmed Julfar said that Etisalat Group sees opportunities for inorganic international growth in the coming 18 months.
Ahmed Julfar said that Etisalat Group sees opportunities for inorganic international growth in the coming 18 months.


The UAE’s Etisalat Group sees potential for international expansion in the coming 18 months across the MEA region and Asia, Ahmed Julfar, group CEO, Etisalat, told CommsMEA.

Julfar said that the MEA region had been “very quiet over the last three years in terms of M&A activity”, mainly due to the global financial and economic situation, and that this was likely to produce some good opportunities for telecom operators and investors in the region.

“So far we are keeping our eye open for these opportunities when they come. We believe some good opportunities will come over the next 12-18 months. We are focused on the whole MENA region, and parts of Africa and Asia,” he said.

He added that opportunities could arise in various forms, whether full acquisitions, joint ventures or minority stakes. However, he sees particularly strong potential for partnerships and alliances with other players . “The business model for telecoms started to take a different shape," he said. "You see more partnerships and alliances than what you have seen in the past and I think this is sometimes a good strategy for entry into certain markets. Maybe you don't go with a major acquisition, maybe you go with a partnership or you go with a small investment."

Following the sale of part of its stake in Indonesia’s PT XL Axiata in September, Julfar added that Etisalat also continued to assess all of its international investments. However he stressed that there were currently no plans to sell any stakes as the telco did with its Indonesian investment.

"We are assessing our situation in all our markets like Africa and Asia to see what would be the best position for Etisalat in these markets. Is it to stay as we are or to grow or to reap back from these markets,” he said. “Today there is no decision about any other markets that we want to sell as we have done in Indonesia.”

Full interview with Ahmed Julfar, group CEO, Etisalat, appears in the October issue of CommsMEA. See right hand side of home page for subscriptions.

REGISTER NOW | Webinar Event | Security you can bank on – Safeguarding the Middle East’s financial sector

Presented in partnership with security and network specialist Cybereason, the second in the three part webinar series will bring together a panel of experts to discuss how banks and financial institutions are evolving their service offering while simultaneously staying one step ahead of the cyber criminals who seek to bring their operations crashing to the ground.

Editor's Choice

Emerson expands analytics platform for industrial enterprise-level wireless infrastructure management
Plantweb Insight platform adds two new Pervasive Sensing applications that manage wireless networks more efficiently with a singular interface to the enterprise
Digitalisation seen as a competitive advantage by Middle East private businesses
Nearly 80 per cent of private business leaders acknowledge that digitalisation can impact business sustainability
Etisalat introduces Multi-Access Edge Computing architecture delivering best-in-class video streaming performance for 5G networks
MEC architecture achieves performance gains of as much as 90% in video streaming, validating how ultra-low-latency applications will be delivered over 4G and 5G networks

Most popular

Don't Miss a Story