Etisalat Looking for Discount in Discounted PTCL Deal

UAE based telecom firm, Etisalat is looking for discount and said that disputed land’s value (some 450 million dollars) should be deducted from the PTCL deal, said a letter written to Pakistan Government and acquired by Reuters.

Etisalat was offered discount to pay 2.6 billion dollars in installments along with other incentives – when it was drifting away from the initial agreement.

Etisalat has been locked in a dispute over the $2.6 billion purchase of 26 percent stakes in the Pakistani firm since 2006, due to complications over land sales linked to the deal.

Etisalat is holding the pending payment for long, which it says will be paid once the land properties are transferred. However, now as a letter seen by Reuters, Etisalat is looking for a discount in the deal by deducting the price of disputed lands, estimated at some $450 million.

Reportedly, in the letter, Etisalat asked the Pakistani government to suggest a cut-off date for the deduction and receive the balance of the payment.

However, a Pakistani official told Reuters on Thursday on the condition of anonymity that it would “not accept any discounts” on the outstanding $800 million, although it would accept an initial $500 million and the balance at a later date.

“The remaining properties are private and not linked to the government at all, that’s why it’s taking more time,” the official said, declining to give a date when he expected the land transfers to be finalised.

Etisalat could not immediately be reached for comment.