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Kalaam becomes major regional player with Tawasul acquisition

Bahrain Business
Wed, 16 May 2018
By Avinash Saxena

MANAMA: A multimillion-dollar acquisition by Bahraini home-grown telecom firm Kalaam Telecom has made it one of the top five tier 2 operators in the region, it has emerged.

The company is one of the largest enterprise telecom service providers for the enterprise market in Bahrain and has acquired Kuwait-based information and communication technology solutions provider Tawasul Telecom for an undisclosed sum.

However, Kalaam Telecom chairman Nezar Al Saie did confirm that it was a multimillion-dollar transaction during a Press conference yesterday at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Bahrain Bay.

Tawasul has a strong network presence in the Middle East, the UK and Singapore and offices in five countries.

The acquisition of Tawasul will further strengthen Kalaam’s position in the GCC and international market; thereby expanding its customers base geographically in the GCC and globally, he said calling it a “transformational step” turning Kalaam into a regional player from a predominantly domestically-focused business.

The chairman said the move was in line with the company’s vision of expanding regionally and internationally to further support fast-growing telecom and ICT sectors.

The combined entities will have a profitable operation with diversified revenues by products, sectors and geography.

“It will be a truly regional telecom service provider with 40 per cent of revenues from Bahrain, and 60pc from other countries in the Gulf, and internationally.”

The combined entities will serve the enterprise market in Bahrain and throughout the Gulf with more than 3,000 enterprise customers.

The group will have 16 points of presence (POPs), and offices in five countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the UK.

Kalaam presently employs 85 professionals, the majority of whom are Bahraini and with the acquisition of Tawasul, the total workforce will exceed 130.

Kalaam Telecom’s chief executive Veer Passi said this is the third acquisition for Kalaam within the last four years.

The first two acquisitions consolidated Kalaam’s position in the home market, while this accelerates regional expansion plans, he said.

All the acquisitions were funded by a mixture of equity from the existing shareholders and debt financing from bankers.

“Most enterprises today are looking for a single solutions provider to meet all their communication needs. With this acquisition, we will be equipped to meet those demands and will enable us to offer our customers easy-to-procure, fast and pan-GCC solutions over a single agreement,” added Mr Passi.

Kalaam Telecom is the first alternative telecom service provider that emerged following the liberalisation of the telecom sector in Bahrain to compete outside of its home market.

The chief executive said its expertise and reach has allowed businesses to significantly reduce costs, increase productivity and improve overall efficiency.

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