We began life in 1983 in Kuwait, as Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC), the region’s first mobile operator, and commencing with the initiation of our expansion strategy in 2003, we grew rapidly in both the Middle East and Africa through the acquisition of several mobile operators across the region. In September 2007, MTC rebranded to Zain in order to better reflect our growing status as a leading multi-national mobile service provider with global aspirations. Zain was thus adopted as the Group’s corporate master brand. In 2008 we became the 4th largest mobile operator in the world in terms of geographical presence, with operations in 15 African countries and 7 in the Middle East.
We continued on our journey of growth and development, and in March 2009, entered into a 50/50 partnership with Al Ajial Investment Fund Holding to acquire a 31% stake in Inwi, the third mobile telecom operator in Morocco. By 2010, Zain had taken the strategic decision to focus on its highly cash generative Middle East and North Africa operations, investing in new growth opportunities in these markets. This decision led to the sale of 100% of Zain Africa BV (‘Zain Africa’) to Bharti Airtel Limited in June 2010 for the total consideration of USD 10.7 billion on an enterprise value basis.