Iraqi court rejects $4.5m claim against Zain

Kuwaiti telco group countered claim relating to acquisition of Iraqna in 2007
Iraqi court rejects $4.5m claim against Zain


An Iraqi court has rejected a $4.5 billion lawsuit against Zain relating to its acquisition of Iraqi telco Iraqna in 2007. The court dismissed the applicants' right to appeal, the Zain Group said on Sunday.

Zain bought Iraqna for $1.2 billion from Orascom Telecom in December 2007 after the Egyptian company dropped out of the running for a long-term mobile licence in Iraq, according to a report from Reuters. Zain then merged its Iraqi unit, Atheer, with Iraqna and renamed the entity Zain Iraq.

The claimant's lawsuit argued Zain's takeover had prevented it from buying Iraqna, causing it a $4.5 billion loss.

According to Reuters, an Iraqi court dismissed the case in July, but the unnamed successfully appealed as a court ruled in their favour. The claimants have been identified by industry sources as shareholders in Korek, Iraq’s third biggest mobile operator, which is part-owned by Orange, the report added.

Zain mounted its own appeal to a higher court, which then instructed the lower court to reconsider its verdict. In turn,tThe lower court then reversed its decision in favour of Zain. This decision has now been ratified, leaving the applicants no right of appeal.

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