KARACHI: A major business group from the United Arab Emirates, the Hamad Bin Khalifa Departments of Projects (HBK DOP), is in discussions to acquire a ‘majority stake’ in wi-tribe, one of Pakistan’s largest independent broadband providers, officials said on Thursday.
The targeted company, wi-tribe, has main offices in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi and until early 2016 was owned by Qatar Telecom when it was bought by the Pakistani group HB International Investments, a business conglomerate with diverse interests, particularly in the fields of telecommunications and information technology.
“Wi-tribe investment opportunity provides HBK a footprint into Pakistan Telecom's space as a firm foundation to consolidate the ongoing investment interest for the telecom infrastructure acquisition,” Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, chairman of the Arab Investment Development Authority (AIDA) and HBK Holdings, said in a statement issued on Thursday.
Responding to a question about the possible future acquisition, Haris Hasan Khan, CEO of Emergent Telecommunications, a project arm of HB International Investments, said the deal was not yet finalized but HBKDOP had shown interest in buying majority stakes.
“They are interested in majority stakes, but not finalized yet,” Khan told Arab News by phone from the UAE. “I would refrain from [quoting] amounts but it will be double digit US dollars, in millions.”
Hamad Bin Khalifa Departments of Projects (HBK DOP) was founded by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan to handle project investments through strategic joint venture partnerships. The group operates in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Central Asia.
“Our vision is based on forging strong investment partnerships built on our innovative technology, Fintech solutions such as HBK GoChain, our block chain technology, along with Arabian Bourse, our digital asset technology platform,” Anwar Hussein, HBK DOP Group CEO, said.
Pakistani officials said investment in telecom, energy, infrastructure and health by the UAE would strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
“We are thankful to His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan for considering Pakistan as one of his target investments for a number of ongoing investments within the telecom, energy, infrastructure, health and logistics with the HB International Investments,” Hasan Bokhari, chairman of HB Investments, said in a statement.