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Zain invests in Moroccan operator Wana

CASABLANCA: Zain has entered into a 50/50 partnership with Al Ajial Investment Fund Holding (Al Ajial) investing through a joint venture, Zain Al Ajial an amount of MAD2.850 billion (US$324 million) in return for 31% of Wana Corporate SA (Wana), the third mobile telecom operator in Morocco.
The investment by Zain and Al Ajial aims to provide Wana with the funding requirements and operational contributions to continue on its growth plan and launch its new GSM license in late 2009. Under the agreement Zain will assist Wana for the deployment of the new GSM Network. Wana is an integrated telecom operator currently offering fixed and restricted mobility wireless services (branded as Bayn), full CDMA mobility services (branded as Wana) and Internet and data services throughout Morocco.

Karim Zaz, chief executive officer of Wana commented, “We are extremely pleased to partner with Zain and Al Ajial in this new chapter of our business. Our new investors provide us with the right combination of long-term financial investment and operational resources to help us achieve our objective of making Wana a leading telecom operator in Morocco.”

Along with the investment, Wana and Zain will enter into an operating framework agreement that will give Wana access Zain's purchasing power, products and services, including Zain's ‘One Network'.

One Network is a borderless mobile telecoms network service in 17 countries offering communications across geographical borders. These countries are Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Chad, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.